August 28 is a significantly important day for me for many reasons. 45 years ago, on August 28,1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave one of the most significant speeches in American history. His “I Have a Dream” speech was the “Declaration of Independence” for the Civil Rights Era. What he said gave hope to millions of Americans that one day they would not face discrimination because of the color of their skin, but would be judged on the content of their character. I cannot say how grateful I am for Dr. King and his generation, who fought with perseverance and resolve, many to the grave, so that my generation and many after mine would be able to taste freedom.
August 28 will also go down in American history for another significant moment. Sen. Barack Obama stood before an estimated 80,000 attendees to accept his party’s nomination for President of the United States. As a person of color, it is only fitting that he would accept the nomination on the day that Dr. King gave his speech, for being so close to the Presidency, closer than any other minority in our nation’s history, most certainly was what Dr. King had in mind when he spoke of equality for all people. Though I have serious concerns about both Dr. King’s liberation theology and Sen. Obama’s political philosophy, neither should overshadow what is unfolding before our eyes, regardless of whether Sen. Obama becomes President Obama.
August 28 has one final significance to me, one that really surpasses them all. On August 28, 2006, my firstborn son Joshua was born. I’ve been priviledged to watch him grow these past few years (FYI: the pic was taken last May on my sister’s graduation day), and I am so proud to be his Daddy. I pray that he will be able to appreciate the sacrifices and hard work of those before him. I pray that he will learn how to work hard, not just to provide for his own needs, but also to be able to meet the needs of others in subsequent generations. I pray that he will not squander the work of his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who have worked and are working to make sure that he will have opportunities for success.
I pray most of all that he will not be blinded by those who think that our greatest slavery is economic or legislative, though they are all real. I pray instead that he will recognize his greatest slavery is to sin, and the only freedom that spans eternity is the freedom that comes through Jesus Christ alone. I pray that he will glory in the One who went before him and triumphed over rulers and authorities, canceling out his record of debt by nailing it to the cross. I pray that he will glory in the One who did not purchase him out of slavery with money or speeches or legislative lobbying and campaigning, but with his very own blood. I pray that my Joshua will believe in the gospel and know what true freedom is all about.