Manning Pastor Sam Livingston: We need a spiritual Renaissance


Langston Hughes was one of the most influential poets of the Harlem Renaissance era. His poems captured the struggles, inspired and connected with the dreamers of a brighter future. During the 1920 and '30s, African-Americans moved from the Southern states to the North in search of opportunities to express their music, art, poetry, etc.

Langston wrote a poem titled Dreams. His poem was short but impactful in a multitude of ways.

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

If we lose our aspiration, if we lose our inspiration, if we lose our dreams, life will become a barren field. The essence of Langston's poem is to make every effort to maintain our dreams, especially those relating to hope. If the dream dies, one's ability to imagine himself soaring is crippled. Ideas get frozen in time when the dream vanishes.

In the book of Genesis, we read the story about Jacob. Jacob fell in love with a beautiful young lady named Rachel. Jacob was deceived by Laban and was given Leah first instead of Rachel. Jacob eventually married Rachel and bore a son they named Joseph. Joseph grew up and did something his other brothers dared not to do, he believed in his dreams. His dreams eventually became the reason for his brothers selling him and lying to their father that he was killed by a wild animal. Joseph, on the other hand, never stopped believing in his dreams. Favor landed him a top position in Potiphar's house. However, failure to give in to temptation by Potiphar's wife yielded him a prison sentence.

Joseph kept his dreams while maintaining his integrity. His wisdom and gifting reached the keeper of the prison, who made Joseph overseer of the entire prison. Joseph was not just a dreamer, but he was also an interpreter of dreams. Whenever we cherish the initial gifts given by God, He opens the door for additional gifts to complement the gift we utilized with joy. Joseph would later interpret the dreams of a butler and a baker who were imprisoned. The two dreams unfolded just as Joseph outlined them. One day Pharaoh had a dream and the butler remembered Joseph, "The Dreamer," who was introduced to the king solely to interpret his dream.

After the manifestation of Pharaoh's dream, Joseph was placed in the number two position in Egypt. What a powerful move of God seeing that Joseph was not an Egyptian.

The point I'm trying to establish here is simple, during any Renaissance period, people refused to surrender to the norm. They followed their dreams and aspirations. Oppositions came, but somehow they found a way to maneuver around them. A Renaissance era is a time to revive something. A time to revive an idea, a fashion statement, a new form of art, a dream to realization or something that the world is waiting for but doesn't know it yet.

The church of the living God needs a spiritual renaissance. We need a time where the parishioners of the Body of Christ will listen to what the spirit of the Lord has to say to those that have an ear to hear his voice. We need a universal revival in the earth that will transcend the minds of the people to act like the day of Pentecost in the upper room. We need a supernatural message given to all at once, calling us to the upper room for a renewed Pentecostal experience.

Well, if the truth be known, we get this universal calling every time the gospel is read, taught and preached. We just need to answer the call.

Don't ever stop believing in miracles, don't ever stop chasing your dreams, and for heaven's sake, don't become a barren field.


Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.