“Just when [Joseph] had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” - Matthew 1:20 “Having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, [the Magi] left for their own country by another road.” - Matthew 2:12
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech urges us to choose a better way as a society. Platitudes about racism are not good enough. Real change of systems and of individual hearts is needed to break down the hold racism has on North America. This speech urges us to walk another road together.
The beginning of the Gospel of Matthew shows us that even the most devout people had to be shown another way by God. Sometimes we think that our ways are righteous in our own eyes, but God shows us that we can go deeper. God challenges us to live in fellowship and harmony across dividing walls beyond what we would choose on our own. When God pushed people to do better in the Gospel of Matthew, it was through dreams: Dreams people had while they were sleeping. These days, we often stay up late to watch another show, play another game, or read more tweets. We don’t want to miss out. But, what if we are missing out on something by not going to sleep? What if God wants to come to us in a dream, but we are still awake doing busy nothings?
We have heard a lot about the physical benefits of sleep (a positive effect on mood, brain functioning, immune system, etc.). What about the spiritual benefits of sleep? By resting our minds, we open ourselves to receive dreams from God. Perhaps God wants to inspire us with a dream to choose a better way in our lives, just like God inspired Joseph and the Magi through dreams. Sleep prepares us to follow God to a deeper faith, whether that happens through the inspiration of a dream, or the health benefits of a good night’s sleep. Everything else in the middle of the night can wait until morning. Don’t miss out on a good night’s sleep.
Grace and peace, Rev. Sarina