Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday December 19 Dreams

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Genesis 37:5-11 NIV

Perhaps it is because I used to have extremely vivid dreams, but dreams have always interested me.  That certainly puts me in good company. A multitude of books and articles have been written about dreams over the years and dreams have been the subject of scientific study. The ancients believed dreams were revelations from God to be acted upon,  as in the story from Genesis of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph's dreams and his ability to interpret the dreams of others were the source of both his misfortune at the hands of his brothers and his rise to power at the hands of Pharaoh. Pioneering psychologists such, as Jung and Freud, saw dreams as tools of the unconscious mind to help us work out the psychological difficulties of our waking time. More recently, neuroscientists have posited that dreams are part of memory consolidation, connecting visual,  auditory and motor experiences. Often, when this happens, scientists tell us, we are able to connect images and ideas that we were previously unable to, possibly leading to breakthroughs. And so modern science brings us back around to dreams as revelation. That modern science gives us biochemical mechanisms for the way dreams happen,  in no way dismisses the possibility the ancients embraced that dreams are communication from God.  After all God is the amazing creative source of our biochemical make up and functioning. I urge you to pay attention to your dreams. Perhaps God indeed has a message you need to hear.

Creator God,  You have made us so marvelously! Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in ways that even the greatest minds cannot fully fathom. Lord we thank You for Your amazing creativity and attention to detail in creating us and sustaining us and leading us back to You. Help us, we pray to be attentive to all the ways You communicate with us, especially through the sending of Your Son Jesus, in whose name we now pray.  AMEN!

1 comment:

TG said...

Does anyone else see a connection with the hymn "People Look East" and Joseph's story?

From verse four: Stars keep the watch when night is dim.... Bright as sun and moon together

Joseph keeps the watch in dreams; the stars represent the same watchfulness in song and in scripture. Tracy, your post reminds me to pay attention to dreams!