by Pat Russell
“Joseph” – Luke 1:18-25
Pastor Bruce Spear
As I sit to write this, it is Christmas Eve. Advent is coming to an end because the arrival of His birth is upon us. Pastor Bruce’s sermon this last Sunday of Advent presented us with two questions to consider. Perhaps during these holidays, you could take some time to ponder your thoughts around these questions.
The first is “how might I be able to love like Joseph?”
His desire to live a righteous life was coupled with his desire to treat Mary respectfully. He spent time considering how to act towards Mary, whose actions were disappointing to him. He listened to what the Lord said to him through the angel in his dream. He acted on the deeper Voice versus the public voice. He protected her while honoring his tribal duty when he took her with him to Bethlehem. He chose to take Mary and the Child to safety in Egypt when going home would have been more comfortable.
The second is “how might God be speaking to me through my dreams?”
Here are some phrases from our handout. Pick one and discuss it with someone else.
“Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17
“All dreams in Scripture have something in common. They represent the intrusion of God into our world – an unbidden communication in the dark of night that opens sleepers to a world different from the one they inhabit during the day – an intrusion that generates a restless uneasiness with the way things are until the vision and the dream come to fruition….So the story of God’s goodness and grace is written in the language of dreams written upon the human heart.” Susan R. Andrews
“Do we not quickly dismiss dreams if we can even recall them a few moments after we awake? The dream, however, was enough for Joseph.” Daniel Harris
“Dreams give your soul wings. And images from dreams are the exquisite patterns on the wings. Hold your dream as you would hold a butterfly – in your open, quiet palms.” Jill Merrick
One way to hold your dream delicately is given to us by David Benner in his book, Care of Souls.
Ask the Lord to give you memory of your dreams and give you discernment as you consider them. Keep a pad of paper nearby your bed so that as soon as you wake up you can record as much as you can remember. Dreams may fade quickly if we do not write them down. After writing everything down that you remember, give your dream a title. Then, what was the theme of your dream? Next, what was the affect (emotional impact) of your dream on you? Finally, what questions did your dream raise for you?
Here is an example of a dream I had in October. I won’t write the whole dream but here are the answers to the questions. Title: Becoming a Farm Wife. Theme: integrating into a new community. Affect: proud that I could do it, and embarrassed that I fell down while leaning in the doorway. I felt love for the family and the farmer. Questions: what is my new community? Why should I be entering a new community? I felt older than the farmer, where do I feel too old for what I am about to do? I was in Nebraska or Iowa where big farming is taking place; what in my life feels too big for me?
Give it a try. You never know what the Lord might want you to consider in your life?