Archive for February 12th, 2008

Dreams Come True

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Genesis 50:15-21 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

I have dreams: dreams of my future, dreams of effecting change in our world, dreams for my children and closest friends, dreams for our church, dreams for the GLBT community, dreams of being with someone special. We all have dreams, or I suppose we wouldn’t be human.

The story of Joseph is about dreams. There were the ones of his eleven brothers’ sheaves of grain bowing down to his, and of the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowing down to him. The dreams made his brothers angry, and maybe made Joseph a little arrogant. Still, I’m sure he was cute; you know the type.

The story goes on. The brothers grab Joseph and sell him into slavery. Then, Joseph is falsely accused of seducing his master’s wife, and he’s thrown into an Egyptian prison. Then, after interpreting a dream, Joseph becomes Pharaoh’s right hand man, saves the country during a famine, and feeds his brothers who have come groveling to him (although they don’t know it’s him). His family moves to Egypt, but their father, Jacob, dies. And now, the brothers think that Joseph might seek revenge. Strange thing about guilt. We do wrong, and it produces fear and anxiety.

However, Joseph says, “You planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good…” God’s purposes are working themselves out, even through the worst we can imagine. That’s grace, triumphing over evil.

But it’s not “cheap grace” (a term used by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyr of the Nazis). Grace is not leaving everything in God’s hands, but rather grace is recognizing that God has no hands but ours. God’s plans shall triumph, but we will have fought a battle.

Joseph’s dreams came true: his brothers did bow before him. God worked through some pretty awful stuff to do that. But the dream of the eleven brothers came true, as well: “life for many people.” That’s grace, triumphing over sin and guilt, too.

I pray that my dreams are the dreams of God for me. And I pray that I have the faith and the courage to face whatever battles are before me so that they shall come true.

Thought for the day: What are your dreams? Do they align with the will of God for you? Are you allowing yourself to be used by God so that these dreams shall come true?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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