Good morning! Looking at the calendar and we are definitely in countdown mode! Wow! We are just about half way through our journey in Advent.
Today’s scripture: Acts 11: 4-18 (NRSV)
4 Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6 As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’8 But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10 This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11 At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were.12 The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14 he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18 When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”
I dream extremely vividly. It can be pretty ridiculous. On Saturday night, since I had spent so much time in the book of Esther I was dreaming that I was in the King’s court. I tossed and turned and struggled all night with deciding how to confront the king and realizing that this wasn’t the life I wanted for myself….on so many levels. I kept waking up and realizing that I was back at home. Phew! And then the dream would start again. I woke up thinking that I had worked alllll night.
I dream just about every night. There are a few people in my life that have really urged me to start a dream journal. Sometimes I can tell you what my brain was working on and sometimes it is quite a mystery. I still remember some dreams from when I was a little girl because they have been so vivid.
Other times I have extremely vivid dreams of people. In my dreams, it is someone I haven’t seen in a while and we just walk and talk to catch up. When I have these dreams, I contact the person the next day and usually, more often than not, the person is struggling with whatever we talked about in my dream and needed someone to talk to.
My brother Andrew researches sleep and will disagree with me a bit here but I definitely believe that sometimes there is a bit of mystery to dreams. My dear friend Lauri debates a bit with me as well since there are people in her life who have used their dreams to speak out against who she is and it has been hurtful. Here is what I think ….the Bible outlines over and over again that dreams can be used by God but only in ways that aren’t harmful. If a God appears in a dream and it causes harm, I truly don’t think that is of God. But if God is using a dream for love, care, unity….I can get behind that. This scripture is one of those times. Peter dreams something so obscene he has to pay attention. At first he thinks it is nothing until it happens again and it is so vivid and clear, he has to pay attention. Peter’s dream leads him to unity and connecting with people that he wouldn’t have connected with before. Peter’s dream allows us to connect to those we think we can’t connect to our shouldn’t. For whatever reason we might have a rule about why we can’t go there…not the right (fill in the blank). But here, God breaks all of that down and God does it in a dream.
I think we can’t rule out the mystery of it all. We don’t have the answers but this season begs us to look at a little bit of mystery. God works on a different level than we do and is bigger than what we can imagine. Why couldn’t God work through dreams or conversations or nudges or a tiny baby?
What do you think?