I've been having a lot of crazy dreams lately. I'm not sure if it's the change in weather or what, but it's almost like I've been living some sort of surreal double-life. It takes me a few seconds in the morning to snap out of whatever dimension I've been in. I used to keep a dream journal and analyze all of my nightly mind-wanderings, but then I had kids and time became of the essence. Yet this dream from the other night has stayed with me, for I found a profound message within it.
In my dream, I rehearsing music for a praise band. There were three of us singing. Although I knew both of the other women, I can't remember who they were. There was a storm raging outside, and at one point one of the other women stopped practicing and went to look at the storm out the window. She quieted us and told us to listen. I began feeling anxious and asked her if she heard the tornado sirens going off.
"No," she responded. "This is what I heard the last time I saw an angel appear."
At that moment, the sheet music she had been using began to shimmer, and a beautiful white light came through as if a spotlight was shining from below. In that instant, we three fell to our knees, overcome with the sensation that we were in the presence of something holy. We each began to pray aloud, our voices joining together and culminating in the praise song we had previously been rhearsing. My heart was full to bursting with a joy that could only be shown through praise and thanksgiving.
As the song finished, the light faded, and rejoicing, we stepped outside. Traffic was stopped, people everywhere were smiling and greeting one another as friends. It seemed that everyone around us had experienced the same miraculous event. We were so excited to share our experiences that we ran off in different directions to spread the joy to all those we saw.
In thinking about this dream, I began to recall the Advent study we are doing at church; The Advent Conspiracy. The point of this study is that we, as Christians, must move past the commercialism and consumerism that has become Christmas, to experience afresh the wonder and joy of celebrating Christ's birth. The first tenet of the conspiracy is to worship fully. The authors look at Luke 2: 8-20 where the shepherds are greeted by the angels announcing the Savior's birth. The shepherds were a group of people who were marginalized from the rest of society. Yet after the appearance of the heavenly host, they went to the Mary and Joseph to worship Jesus. And after being in the presence of the Christ child, they joyfully ran to spread the news that the Messiah had come to the towns and villages around. They broke through the chains of class and station to spread a message of love and hope. They were joy-full.
In my dream, I was like the shepherds. I was so full of joy at the love of God that I wanted to go out and share it with everyone I met. I was sad when I woke up in the morning and realized it had all been a dream. But in reality, it wasn't. The joy of Christ's birth is there, everyday. There's a story of hope for today, for people who need to know love, to know joy, to know redemption. I want to be as excited about God when I'm awake as I am when I'm asleep. I want to stand up and tell people I meet, "Hey, God is here, now, and he wants to make a difference. He wants to change your life. He wants to set you free."
Christmas is about spreading joy. What a crazy dream!
Blessings and Peace,