15. March 2020

D is for Dream

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Minister: Revd Dr. Ian Tutton | Series: Lent, Lent 2020

D is for Dream

‘…The Splendour & Wealth of the Nations shall be brought into it…’ (Rev. 21, 26)

We continue our Lenten season: having allowed ourselves to be ‘defined’ according to the answers we give to Jesus’ questions, ‘Who do you say that I am?’, & ‘Do you love me more than these?’; Having been encouraged to embark on a journey of self-discovery, hopeful that we will realise that we are who we are - loved by God – we are to love one another, & to love ourselves. Today, we ask, do we dare to dream? Not in the narrow sense that we all dream when we are asleep, but more broadly, letting our imagination bring to life what might otherwise remain dormant, deep within us. Realising that sometimes in our lives we all ‘dream’, and that there are those of us tasked with ‘dreaming’ on behalf of us all. ‘Dreaming’ is crucial for our understanding of the Christian faith – allegory – telling in story form the unfolding purposes of God; heavenly truths explained in ‘down to earth terms’ – the most famous, John Bunyan’s, ‘Pilgrims Progress’ – ‘Delivered under the similitude of a dream’. The Bible is rich in allegory. Indeed, we might fail to appreciate the insightfulness of certain Biblical texts if we read them in a purely literal way. So, e.g., the reading earlier from the Book of the Revelation…the whole of which may well be best understood as allegorical. Not that the supernatural, or spiritual dimension to what we believe is rendered redundant, rather, it has new life breathed into it by describing it in a way that is understandable yet same time retaining something of the essential mystery that lies behind it. As Christians, we are called to bring to life the mysteries of faith by imaginative use of story-telling; confronting people in a way that is hearer friendly. We have no better role model that Jesus and His use of parables; taking examples from the immediate reality of the world around Him, using them to illustrate God’s will for His immediate audience, and for the world and all who live in it. But for most of us, when we think of ‘Dreaming’ we have in mind our aspirations…what we would wish for if only we had the ability to bring it about. Sometimes, it can be selfish, hence the request of James and John…A request to which Jesus’ response can be summed up as, ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Jesus seems to be saying to us that if that which we wish for is only for us, then we are likely to find that such wishes will remain unfulfilled, even though we may be required to do all that is necessary to bring about the circumstances within which our dream might be turned into a reality. More than that, Jesus shares with all the disciples the essential Gospel imperative which is that as His disciples, their task would be to ensure that far from pursuing their own selfish ambition, they were to understand themselves as having been called by God to ensure that others might have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of their own desires. But then, in time it should dawn upon every follower of Jesus that whatever we might wish for, it cannot be for us alone, it can only be for all people everywhere, regardless. That is why Christians are often criticised for their seemingly unworldly attitude to life, when in fact it is an attitude firmly rooted in this world…“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”― Martin Luther King Jr. 

The light of the morning is breaking,
The shadows are passing away;
The nations of earth are awaking,
New peoples are learning to pray.
Let wrong, O Redeemer, be righted,
In knowing and doing Thy will;
And gather, as brothers united,
All men to Thy cross on the hill.

Thy love is the bond of creation,
Thy love is the peace of mankind:
Make safe with Thy love every nation
In concord of heart and of mind.
Thy pity alone can deliver
The earth from her sorrows, dear Lord:
Her pride and her hardness forgive her,
Thy blood for her ransom was poured.

Thy throne, O Redeemer, be founded
In radiance of wisdom and love;
Thy name through the wide world be sounded
Till earth be as heaven above.
Though hills and high mountains should tremble,
Though all that is seen melt away,
Thy voice shall in triumph assemble
Thy loved ones at dawning of day.

 

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.