Dreams are key contributors to the narrative of both important biblical Josephs. Let’s focus on the Genesis 37 to 50 Joseph rather than the husband of Mary Joseph. The Genesis Joseph has two dreams in Canaan and tells his family of them. The telling of these dreams help get him sold into slavery and sent to Egypt. In Egypt, he makes use of dream interpretations to change his life circumstances: when he assists fellow prisoners and when he assists the Egyptian Pharaoh. ‘What do these dreams mean’ is a key integrative tool used by the narrator. The dreams in Canaan help get Joseph into trouble with his family. The dream interpretations in Egypt help get Joseph to a place of redemption.
Our theme for October is “Dream on.” Often this phrase is used in a sarcastic or cynical way having a meaning similar that this will be true “when pigs fly.” But we don’t mean this in a winged razorback kind of way, rather we mean for this phrase to be understood in terms of aspiration and vision. Steven Tyler of the rock group Aerosmith writes in Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, that their defining song ‘Dream On’ is “about the hunger to be somebody: Dream until your dreams come true.”
‘Dream on’ then is about our communal hunger, and our migration of that hunger to be a community that is a collection of some bodies who care about those in various needy places. Said another way, to dream on, is about us being having dreams that are consistent with God’s dreams and vision for us. Frederick Buechner describes what that looks like: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
How and towards where do you “dream on” for Hilltop?
Do you perceive that telling others of your dreams will lead to a Joseph like banishment from the Promised Land?
Or do you see the possibility that in hearing the dreams of others, you can help with interpretation that leads to a different future?
I would hope and pray that our dreams as a community indeed take us to a ‘place where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’ But at the end of the day – continue to dream on. And should people resort to listening to you and replying to your visions in terms of winged razorbacks (i.e. flying pigs) you can continue, Joseph like, to be optimistic and hopeful for a Spirit Filled Future for the Children of God here at Hilltop.
Selah, Pastor Dennis