I have dreamed of Fellowship the past two nights. For the life of me this morning I can’t remember exactly what it was last night that I dreamed about. I do remember awaking after the dream with an incredible sense of warmth and love surrounding Fellowship. Sunday night I dreamed of life in our building. I was walking through what will be our sanctuary into what will be our hallway between what will be our rooms we will use for Sunday school, Bible study, and untold other ministries, and there was a terrible noise.
In my dream there was a deafening, raucous, caucophony resounding through the hall. I couldn’t see anyone around or identify the noise so I walked to the first classroom and opened the door, and inside the door I was presented with the cause of the noise.
As I opened the door to the first classroom I laid eyes on a mass of people. There were children cutting construction paper. There were adults with cups of coffee in Styrofoam cups. People were laughing. They were deep in conversation. Children were screaming with joy and playing. There was the sound of relief that can only come through weeping. It was the noise of Fellowship together.
I went to the next classroom and was presented with a similar scene. The room overflowing with people. The next classroom was gave off much the same noise and yet each laugh, voice, and cry were distinctly different. And through the rooms I went, presented every time with exactly the same scene.
This dream has been seared into my brain. The faces are obscure in my memory, but I am sure you all were there. I am equally sure that most of the faces represented are the people of Fellowship that haven’t arrived just yet.
These are rare dreams for me. For years, more often than not my dreams are not positive and inspiring. My good dreams come during the day as I read, write, visit, converse with, and generally go about life as Pastor of Fellowship. But, my hopes don’t manifest themselves in my night-visions. My fears, my anxiety, my doubts rear their ugly heads in my sleep.
So to be blessed by the grace of such a dream two nights in a row is an act of beauty spoken to my soul this Tuesday morning.
Last week I experienced one brief moment of a dream coming true. On Wednesday night at the New Baptist Covenant I worshipped with over 10,000 other Baptists. We were white, black, Hispanic, and Asian. We were as varied from one another in race, culture, and theology as is possible without combusting. And we worshipped together. We didn’t just sing. We didn’t just leap to our feet and shout, we didn’t just cry, we didn’t just participate in the adventure of preaching. We worshipped together. Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and White, for once we were precious in each others sight. It was a dream come true. It was more than that, it was Heaven come down. It was a glimpse of the fullness of God’s kingdom. It was justice manifesting itself in our broken midst. On my blog (futherupfurtherin.wordpress.com) this week I will have other reflections on my time at the New Baptist Covenant and how I believe what happened there may apply to the local church.
But, now, I ask you Church, what are your dreams? This is not the first time I have posed this question to you. What are your dreams for Fellowship? What are your dreams for your life with God? What are your dreams for the Kingdom of God? Are they big or small? Are they you-sized or God sized? Are we on our own capable of making it come true or is the dream so big that God’s powerful hand is necessary?
I’ve thought a lot about my dreams today. I think it is quite possible that I can make quite a few of my dreams come true on my own and without great help from God; thus, I am convicted my dreams are too frail and small. But Sunday’s dream, of a new Church building packed with people who seem to be living in deep, dynamic community with one another, that is a dream only God’s hand can bring about. The dream I experienced coming true last Wednesday at New Baptist Covenant of so many different people coming together under the theme of unity through diversity in Christ was a dream only realized through the hand of God.
These are the dreams I hope we are dreaming for Fellowship. For they aren’t merely our dreams that we ask God to deliver; they are the dreams of God themselves.
May we dream the dreams of God, and in Christ may we find the courage, faith, and resources to make God’s dream for creation come to reality.