The Dreamer

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  December 10, 2016

            The Dreamer is easily overlooked in God’s story. He is there, dreaming, loving, living, and serving God, yet his faithfulness is quickly lost in the grandeur and wonder of God’s dreams. Today, we largely see the Dreamer as a silent figure of history; quietly observing the blessings before him. Yet, there is so much more to the Dreamer. His story can guide us into tomorrow.
            The Dreamer lived in challenging times. Definitions of proper behavior and religious priority permeated the culture of his day. These definitions, however, often were in conflict with each other and the rapidly changing ways the people of God engaged the world. It was a tumultuous time and the Dreamer was fully aware the tenuous peace.
Law and order, religious rules, and an unrelenting reliance on military strength kept the peace and the presumed assurance of this peace and tranquility could not be compromised. Get out of line, and there were harsh consequences. Everyone knew their place and understood the penalties for bad behavior. Even the Dreamer felt the tension created by the legalistic calls for religious righteousness and the longings of his dreamer’s heart.
            We meet the Dreamer at the point of conflict where his heart, his faith, and the religious expectations of his day all converged in shocking disappointment. The unwanted news hit him with the blunt force of a violent, disillusioning and disorienting slam that up-ended his whole world with disappointment and embarrassment. When a dreamer finds his dreams fundamentally altered, along with the loss of a genuinely hoped-for future, it creates a crisis of faith. The Dreamer’s heart-felt dreams were shattered by the choices of others and he could only pick up the pieces and wonder how to move on. His confidence shaken, his trust violated, his dignity corrupted, and his future mortgaged, the Dreamer made the difficult and painful choice.
            Scripture says he was a righteous man and that he pressed forward because of his genuinely righteous character. Yet, it was not a righteousness as defined in religious priority or legalistic adherence to expectation. Rather, it was a righteousness lived out in Godly love and acceptance. Rather than seek shame and blame, or pronounce the volatile vindication that was due him, the Dreamer dismissed the disappointment with grace and planned to move quietly on.
            The wonderful thing about dreamers is that God uses them in powerful and wonderful ways, even when their dream is abruptly forced to change. When the Dreamer showed his genuinely Godly character and accepted the broken dreams with love and grace, God gave him a new dream—a dream more profound and wonderful than anything he could have imagined. God had the Dreamer raise God’s son and care for his mother with God’s love.
            Joseph violated all expectations. Not only did he lovingly choose to gracefully grant his betrothed a dignified and honorable exit from the pending wedding because of her unexpected out-of-wedlock pregnancy, Joseph, the Dreamer, ultimately honored the marriage covenant, adopted God’s son as his own, and helped lay the foundation for the world’s salvation.
            Joseph’s dreams reach across time and speak from the pages of scripture with a message for today. In a world permeated with hatred, fear, and anger, Joseph reminds us of the Dreamer’s path. When whole populations are guided by false information, presumed “facts” which only serve to push political agendas rather than serve Truth, the Dreamer calls us to see a larger world. In a world where so many dreams have been shattered by the actions of others, the Dreamer shows us a righteous faith that trusts God—even the God of outrageous dreams—and calls the faithful forward to dream as God dreams. Joseph is our dreamer. He can be our guide!