“Dreams and Visions”

“Dearly beloved

We are gathered here today

2 get through this thing called life”

These words have been repeated

More often than not

This weekend,

And may sound slightly ridiculous

Song lyrics intertwined in a sermon

Especially coming from Prince,

Not many however were tuned in

On his spirituality

His deep connection with Jesus Christ

And the Divine

was lived and professed

Throughout his music

But,

It is true right?

We gather here on Sunday morning,

Or a Thursday morning Bible Study

Or a Saturday evening taize service

To get through the muck

And the headache

Of life.

Because we want to be absorbed

In the stories

Of trials

And triumph

Which seemingly

Are almost

Like our own

(pause)

Faced with adversity

Injustice

Ridicule

Prophets, saints, disciples

Were able to express outrage

And Righteousness

Through their Faith

Because of

Dreams

(pause)

It is good to be back together with you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

In the place where the Holy Spirit also dwells

As we ruminate

About what the Creator is calling us into

Sometimes,

The only way God does speak to us

Connects with us,

Inspires and drives us

Is through our dreams and visions.

That’s not farfetched either,

Our imaginations,

Our daydreams

Didn’t just cease to be in childhood

That’s how humanity dreamed up

New ways,

New ideas

For our collective lives to be better, right?

Through dreams

Human beings created new inventions

Carrying us across communities

Oceans,

Carrying us upward

And outward

Through our dreams we solve riddles

Unlocking answers

To save lives,

Finding cures

Embodying freedom

Envisioning a more just world

(pause)

This past weekend,

I attended Ecumenical Advocacy Days

The experience could be summed up

As creative chaos

Swelling to the capacity

Of a Tsunami

The Holy Spirit was definitely captured in that space

The Gospel heard time and again

But this was not preaching to the choir

Because there were moments,

Whether it was Rev. Barber

Challenging us to engage prophetic cursing

“God is telling us to get out of the safety of our sanctuary

and into our streets.

Into the public square..

God needs the church to raise a voice

that is contrary to the voice of oppression”

Or Rev. Traci Blackmon

Speaking TRUTH

“Movements and movement makers are born

when they’ve reached their enough”

“Jesus wasn’t timid.

He was a radical.

If you don’t want to do anything,

don’t call yourself a Christian”

(pause)

That the Gospel made the comfortable

Uncomfortable

That in order for us to get to the New Jerusalem,

We cannot skip out on the raw pain

Of the Old Jerusalem,

Or Ramallah, Palestine

Or Chicago,

Or Miami

Or Ferguson

Or Abuja, Nigeria

Or Port ta Prince, Haiti

In order for us to be the New Jerusalem,

We must address that which separates

And divides us

Dogmas

Doctrines

Labels

Sins

(pause)

Instead, focusing our hearts in what binds us

The bread and wine,

The Body and Blood

The Table

The Cross

The Risen One

Who left us

With a vision

Of Power

In the Holy Spirit

That would speak to us

Through Dreams

(pause)

Dreams such as in Acts

Where sometimes the visions

Just don’t make any sense

Because we as humanity

Can be too literal

Because we root ourselves

In the finite

Instead of enjoying the freedom

Steeped

In the infinite

(pause)

Dreams such as in Revelations

Are the dreams where, beloved

We all want just 5 more minutes

To be submerged in

“Then I saw a new heaven,

A new earth

I saw the Holy City,

The new Jerusalem

God’s dwelling place

Among the people,

There will be no more death.”

THIS

This is what we as people of faith pray for

Wait for

Agonize over

When our world is ugly

Stinks

Is unhealthy

THIS

God WITH US

PHYSICALLY

But as Dr. King’s words remind us

“It’s alright to talk about streets flowing in milk

And honey,

But God has commanded us to be concerned

With the slums

Down here”

God has commanded us to love one another

In those places where we walk,

Drive

Live

Experience

(pause)

What is our hesitation?

What is the hesitation in

Serving,

Working

Loving others?

In confronting injustice

Acting out of love

Living our faith

Now?

What is the hesitation to be in community?

Simply because those that we encounter

Are different?

Heathens?

Gentiles?

(pause)

Sometimes God has to speak to us through dreams

Because that’s the only time we LISTEN!

It’s the only time we hear clearly,

The Good News

“The Spirit told me

To have NO HESITATION

About going with them”

NO HESITATION,

About serving there

NO HESITATION

Because Jesus Christ,

RISEN

Baptizes us with the HOLY SPIRIT

So we should have NO HESITATION

About doing the work,

The hard work

This-proclaiming the Gospel

Making disciples

Prophetically cursing out the demonic

The demonic that,

Let’s be real

Lurks within us

Each time we turn our backs

On one another

(pause)

But see,

Then that’s when the Creator speaks to us

Through Dreams,

Reminding us

“I am the Alpha and Omega

The Beginning and the End

I give water,

WITHOUT COST,”

God gives to us,

LIFE

Through His Son,

Jesus Christ,

Who because of His death,

LIFE eternal is guaranteed!

(pause)

There is a poem by Louise Driscoll,

Where she pleads for us

To Hold fast our dreams!

Close to our hearts,

That one place where doubt and fear cannot touch

Because deep within,

There the Holy Spirit remains

There we are connected to the Creator God

Speaking to us always,

Through dreams,

Because of Love.

Thanks Be to God

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