Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Dream Giver

One of the texts for today is the story of from Genesis of Joseph whose dreams created a conflict with his brothers, got him out of jail and led him to become the second most powerful man in Egypt.  This is the beginning of that story:

This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words. He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?” So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.


Last night I atttended my dream group and once again was awed by the way that dreams bring us great insight.  Tremendous insight - if we pay attention to them.  In our meetings we spend about 45 minutes to an hour discussing one person's dream.  For the one who shares, it can be pretty vulnerable because we often are revealing more than we realize.  What I experienced last night was that the dreams spoke to unresolved feelings of the past, situations in the present, and also an overarching look at the whole of a person's life. 

 The reality is that most of us do not have the opportunity to spend that kind of time of a dream.  But really,  most of us do not take the dreams seriously enough to even write them down - let alone play with them, pray with them and share them with others.  And that is the people who understand the value and the gift of dreams -many people dismiss them as "something I ate."

 In the Bible story of Joseph in the old testament and the new testament, dreams are the impetus for important decisions. It was in a dream that Joseph knew he should marry Mary and care for the child and then in a dream he saw a message to leave Israel and go to Egypt for a while. 

As always I read this and ponder it and just hear that same message - pay attention. One person last night in reflecting back to the dreamer referred to "The Dream Giver." What a wonderful description of God.  The dreams seem so insubstantial and open to interpretation and full of mystery.  And yet God is moving us and changing our conditions and our world if we are paying attention.  

Here is a blessing for today from Maxine Shonk

May you be blessed by the God of DREAMS 

With all the dreamers who have gone before, may you come to trust in God's dream for you.

May you open yourself to become what God envisioned at your birth

and may you have the courage to live into the reflection of god that you are.

May the God of  DREAMS be with you.




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