A Dream That Changed The World
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:18-21)
My mother once gave a testimony of her dream. In the dream she saw an herbal plant where someone was speaking to her, "If you want to get better, this is the herb you need to treat your symptoms." In the morning she went out looking for the plant in her herbal garden. There it was, one of her own plants. She took the herb, used it and the symptoms ceased days later.
I love dreams, peaceful and joyful dreams which give a good night of sleep. There are many things which can be said about dreams, but dreams have their own purpose. In the Bible, dreams were used to reveal God’s plan and message, or future event and situation that may alter a person’s life, or the life of a people, a nation, or the world all together. Interestingly, dreams have something to do with the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph dreamed an angel appeared to him and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
God used a dream to announce the coming of Jesus Christ and to communicate God’s plan and purpose – for Joseph and for us. God used a dream to help change life, attitudes, beliefs, even behaviors and actions. Through a dream Joseph changed his mind, had the courage to risk his status in the cultural norm and took Mary to be his wedded wife and the mother of Jesus. Dream makes it possible for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, God incarnated, to have a home and a family in the world.
"I have a dream," said Martin Luther King, Jr. For Joseph and King, their dreams helped shape the world. Do you have a dream? While we may feel like Joseph in response to Mary’s pregnancy, or we are feeling uncertain about life or about what to do these days, God may give us dreams. As we prepare and wait for Christmas, may we act on the dream God has given us, a dream which may alter the course of our lives and many people for the transformation of our churches, our communities and our world in this Christmas and in years to come for Jesus Christ.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.