I Had a Dream, July 9, 2023 Union, Biddeford Genesis 12: 1-9
Are you a dreamer?
A young man called his mother and excitedly announced that he had just met the woman of his dreams.
His mother said, “Why don’t you send her flowers and invite her to your apartment for a home-cooked meal?”
The day after the big date, his mother called to see how things had gone.
“Mom, the evening was a complete disaster,” he replied. “She was not the woman of my dreams!”
“Why, didn’t she come over?” his mother asked.
“Yes, he said, she came over. But,, she refused to cook!”
Dreams. Are you a dreamer? (Joseph & Amazing Tech. Dreamcoat, palace)
Our Scripture characters, Abram & Sarai (who later was named Abraham & Sarah) were dreamers.
Forget the fact that they were still able to father & mother children in their 90’s! (anyone do that lately, I was 42, my wife, Ivy much younger)
The first dream for Abram & Sarai came when Ab. was 75 y.o. They were willing to believe God and set out on a journey to an unknown land, without the security of country and kindred, but only the promise that God would take care of them.
How many of you at age 75 or even 35 would make that kind of journey, that kind of commitment?
Rev. Justin Tull exclaims, “At first it seems like a rosy future: a great nation, a new land, blessings promised to those whom Abram blesses, and curses on ones whom Abram curses. What could Abram have to lose? Rev. Tull continues, “Several things come to my mind: a sense of stability, worldly comfort (such as it was in those days), family ties. Gone now were Abram’s retirement plans or parties, no bridge games, ,, no evening walks in suburbia with his wife Sarai.” I’ll add,, no tennis games by the sea.
Just imagine God coming before us today in worship, interrupting us during the “announcements” and asking for volunteers for this kind of journey! How many couples would be ready to go? Would we be willing to go on a Mission trip to help folks devastated by tornadoes in Texas or Portland homeless folks?
But Abram & S, despite their age, despite their physical conditions, despite the riskiness of pursuing God’s promises… said “Yes” to God and left for the land of Canaan with only a handful of possessions, a few family members, and a bagful of promises from God. They had a dream!
But, I wonder if Abram really caught the larger vision., the one that many of us really don’t see, and that even fewer pursue? Did you hear this “master plan” in God’s word to Abram? Did you grasp the “purpose” of the Hebrew nation? Did you discover the “overview” of the Hebrew Scriptures, indeed a key theme of the whole Bible?
Genesis 12:2-3 ; I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so, what does it say next,,,that you will be a blessing!!!
What is God’s overall plan? To make the Hebrews great? To separate out the chosen people in order to honor them? To play favorites? No!
The dreams and vision behind the blessing of the Hebrews is to,,, bless the world. The role of the Hebrews is not to be favorite sons and daughters, but to entrust that all of God’s children become truly blessed. To put it simply, Israel was blessed in order to be a blessing, even to the least of all.
And I believe that we are to do the same!! We are to be blessings. Amen?!
What are your dreams and visions at Union Church?
I know it has not been easy for hardly any church during the Covid years, but I believe God is still with us, God is still speaking, like with Abram and Sari, and is ready to take us on a new journey.
A new journey to continue to bless others by being a blessing!
Wouldn’t’ it be a great vision of dream to help folks feel the shower of God’s blessings. Know that hymn? (Michelle) Showers of blessings?
There shall be showers of blessings, ,this is the promise of love.
There shall be seasons refreshing; sent from the Savior above.
*Showers of blessings, showers of blessings we need; mercy drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.
Or the hymn, Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done, count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what God has done!
God’s blessings, not of a new home, a new hummer, but the blessings of God’s grace, of God’s love, of God’s presence; that no matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey, God is with you. What a blessing!
Can we be God’s dreamers? like Abram and Sarai?
- First, I believe that God has created us to dream.
God created Abram and Sarai to dream and envision. It wasn’t enough for them to just stay in one place, (physically, and spiritually).
From the first humans, God said to them, I have given you this great creation and I want you to dream about what you can do with that gift.
People who make a difference in life, are usually dreamers. Are you?
My Dad: dreamed to be a professional baseball player,,,he even caught two foul balls at Fenway Park, hit by Mickey Mantle.
He had a chance to bat against Whitey Ford, but Mom said no, on Sabbath.
Dad wanted to play pro ball, but he only became a Pastor! Thankfully!
What are your dreams and visions for yourself and the church? God has created all of us to dream. The Bible is full of dreamers: Adam & Eve, Noah, Sarah, Ruth, Joseph, Jeremiah, John, Martha,;; Peter, Paul & Mary, and many others. We are created to dream!
***Secondly, it is not enough, simply to dream. We must do what the Bible people did, step out in faith in God, to make that dream a reality.
We are called to dream and that dream is,,, to be a blessing!!!
We probably would not have known the names of Abram & Sarai if they only dreamt, but did not live out the dream. In fact, we may have only known them as Abram and Sarai, not Abraham and Sarah. They followed God in faith and lived out their dream.
Are you willing to live out your dreams?
Many of us are great dreamers at night while sleeping.
Many of us are good dreamers in our pajamas. (a new trend is to wear them outside)
But how many of us are great dreamers while we are awake?
How many of us step out in faith in God and dream while living?
How many of us live out our dream, as called by God, to bless?
Or as someone else has put it: “Don’t wait for your ship to come in; swim out to it.”
Walter P. Chrysler said, “The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is, because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the yard looking for 4-leaf clovers.”
It’s like playing the lottery, with chances to win 1 to millions.
Is this what we dream for? To win the Powerball, (500 million) Pray for this?
Is this how God works? (Someone in Lebanon, Maine won MM in January, remember? The prize was about 270 times bigger than the town’s bank balance)
Is this what God wants us to do, wait around until we win the lottery?
No, God plants the seed of a dream in a human heart, and then waits to see what we will do with it. The dream is not 1 billion dollars, or even 1 million, but to take, sometimes the simple gifts & opportunities that God gives us, and to use them to be a blessing.
Listen to someone, give them a hug, offer to take a meal to a sick person.
Many people at A& S’s old age are simply willing to sit on their front porch and rock.
I’m glad that I know many people at every age that are willing like A& S to step out in faith, to be a blessing to others, and make their dreams a reality!
I’m glad that people right here are dreamers and willing to be a blessing!
Unfortunately, many people in our world, seem to want the gift to curse, not to bless.
Notice in verse 3, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one that curse you, I will curse.” Some folks take this as an opportunity to curse others.
Notice who is to do the cursing? Abraham? No, God!
We are not to curse, God is.
Ex: Dr. Sobel: Asked, if you could push a button and kill someone, without anyone knowing it,, would you? Guess what percentage of folks said Yes? 75%!
Some people were upset over what they call the woke M&M’s. There are new M&M’s supporting women, including even a purple color, God forbid.
Ex: I am glad that folks at Union church are blessers and not cursers!
Thanks to all of you who dream and keep this ministry & mission going and growing!
You are a mission church. You give inside and outside of these walls.
Ex: I’m going to do something now that is risky, Ready?
Ask for examples of your mission work,, how you bless others!
Thanks to all of you for being a blessing in your own way, as God works within you!
Let us be challenged to be more of a blessing in 2023 & beyond to people here and out there!
Are you a dreamer? Think of a dream or vision (pause) Make it a reality with God.
III. Thirdly, God has created us to dream, to be a blessing, and I know that we can accomplish our dreams, why? Because God is the greatest dreamer of all!
God dreamed of a world. A world of verdant trees & blue skies and sparkling dreams!
God populated this creation with exotic creatures & gorgeous mountains.
In the midst of life, often at unexpected times, God, the dreamer,, is blessing us!
However, we’ve destroyed some of this beauty. Sometimes, we mess up the dream!
So what did God do? Did God abandon the dream?
We are reminded that God sent a child, a Savior, a dreamer to live for us, to continue the dream blessing! To share with us forgiveness, & love, & hope that the dream is still alive! (are we waiting till next Christmas?) How about Now?!
I don’t know all your dreams.
At your annual meeting (when)??,
You will hear more of your dreams.
You will probably hear, if you are like most churches, how to balance the budget, how to keep up the property, but I also hope and pray we will hear new ways to serve our neighbors.
I don’t know your dreams, but I do know that God is with you as the ultimate dreamer. If you follow this leader, then with God all things are possible or to put it another way…all dreams are possible!!
We know that Dr. King was a dreamer!
I have a dream, he proclaimed, that all of God’s children will be able to hold hands together, & not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.
That dreamer was assassinated at the age of ?? 39. But almost did not make it to 30.
Remember when an emotionally ill woman attacked him with a letter opener. Doctors saved him but said, that if he had even sneezed, he would have died.
In the hospital Martin received letters from Presidents, Kings, famous actors, politicians,, but the one he treasured the most came from a young girl.
Dear Dr. King, “I am a 9th grade student at White Plains High school. While it shouldn’t matter, I’d like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune & your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed you would have died. I’m simply writing to say, “I am so glad that you didn’t sneeze!”
I’m so glad that he didn’t sneeze, but I hope and pray every day that the dream is still alive!
Is our dream still alive? God’s dream to help us be a blessing?
At your annual meeting, maybe your moderator Paul, Deacon chair Sharon, or Pastor Paula should invite you all to come in your pajamas as dreamers. (When)??
You could have a big pajama Party!
I won’t ask , as long as you take this challenge….
To dream while you are awake, to dream while living!
To make your dreams a reality in your hearts, minds, and spirits!
If we do that, I believe like Abraham and Sarah, God will show us our promised land, that we will be blessed, and more importantly, that we will be a blessing!
Join God in this dream!! Amen!!