Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as the commemoration of St. Augustine of Hippo (which we celebrated Sunday).
Augustine, born in North Africa in 354, was one of the greatest theologians of Western Christianity, who spent his youth seeking after truth through every crazy avenue available only to determine much later in life that all of his restlessness was calmed once he came to know Christ so that he could write: “Lord, our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” From then on, he spent the remainder or his life as a priest and Bishop of Hippo proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Augustine knew that left to our own devices, we would fail; therefore, we needed God’s grace in order to become true followers of Jesus. Augustine dreamt of a world where all people followed Jesus, where there was, in the words of St. Paul, no master or slave, all were equally loved by God.
Some 1600 years later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had the same kind of dream, a dream rooted in Scripture, where in the words of the Old Testament, the lion lays down with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6), and there is no longer Jew or Greek, master or slave, but all people are treated equally (Galatians 3:28). Two men, a similar dream, one God.
Let us pray: Lord God, the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the hearts that serve you: Help us, following the example of your servant Augustine of Hippo, so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550