Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DREAMS: Part 1

Over the last month I have been experiencing some vivid, religiously themed dreams that have been blowing my mind. I thought I would share them (though we are not against them - they are just something that is bit different). Dreams are not necessarily apart of my faith tradition. This is not something that happens all the time. The dreams are often much more sentimental and spiritual than my everyday life. Sometimes they are thematically and theologically about things that I don't even believe to be true. But here they are nonetheless. Usually my posts are more academic, let's turn things upside down for a while.

My dream begins with my living in the house that we are currently living in. Most of my dreams over the last few months have had this house in them but sometimes in different locations. This house was in the middle of a field, with tall grass, maybe even wheat. We were all alone out there; just grass blowing in the wind. There was a knock at the door - it was a family traveling. They asked if they could pitch a tent on our lawn. I agreed but in my dream I was so paranoid that they were going to steal or hurt us that I remember sitting in the chair holding a shot-gun, half expecting them to burst into the house at any moment.

Then, from out of nowhere, I found myself transported to another place altogether. Now I was in a glass and metal enclosure. The windows looked like the front of a grocery story with automatic doors except the the whole building was built in that brownish metal and glass style. The building was a box about 100' x 100' and 30' high. In the middle was a house that was painted brownish-yellow. Almost like it was spray painted gold. It was a not an impressive house, fairly small and a few decades old.

A sidewalk flowed from the porch to a group of people, fairly small in size, maybe 20 people. I realized that I was drawn to this place. As I walked over to the crowd and I saw Jesus. He had come back. I stood there motionless with the rest of the crowd just staring. Then, I fell to my face and began sobbing and worshiping at the same time. Many of my dreams have me sobbing in front of Jesus in intense worship scenes. This time Jesus rejoicingly laughed, grabbed my hand, easily and softly lifted me to my feet and said, "There is no need for that, I am here now" and then hugged me.

The rest of the crowd rushed in and rejoiced aloud. I drifted back from the pack only to notice that there were tons and tons of people outside the glass windows. They were standing outside the building, facing the building where Christ was, but standing motionless just as the small crowd around Jesus was before. I looked outside with sadness as I recognized some of the faces. It was a sadness, not because I was worried for their safety, but because they weren't rejoicing, they weren't experiencing the life inside the building at the yellow house. As soon as I became sad, the doors burst open and everyone ran inside, excited and joyful.

Then I woke up,


Some initial thoughts from my small group and myself:
  • It is good to see Jesus welcome us with laughter and embrace. 
  • There is more to chew here, but part of the purpose of worship is to transform us to another place, to be in connection with the Trinity while here in the middle of history. It is an interesting thought that worship might look different when in the presence of Christ, when all things will be new, and heaven will be here on earth (Rev. 21-22).
  • The yellow house - I can't help but think that this is the Kingdom of God. As with Jesus' coming, the Kingdom coming in fullness will not be what we expect. N. T. Wright talks about this in The Challenge of Jesus. He says that the end will be like Jesus' death and resurrection as highlighted in the Road to Emmaus. Jesus explains the whole event to them from scripture they already had. Wright thinks the end will be like this. Jesus will show us in scripture that the end is what it always was to be, but we couldn't understand it until we saw it. The yellow house is not a mansion that floats down from the sky. It is a crappy two bedroom made in the 60's, but such is the mystery of our faith.
  • Those on the outside -  I don't think this was dream about heaven and hell as ultimate destinations. I think this was a dream about helping people experience the kingdom here and now. I never feared for their safety, only wanted for those on the outside to be inside. There is a great burden for Christians to live a life of exuberance and overflowing with joy and love. We need to be living the life that makes us sad for those who aren't. Not in theory. Not in some esoteric sense where we affirm this in our minds. We need to be living it in the rejoicing, stampeding way the people in the dream did. Laughing and smiling and shouting. There can be not better proof of our kingdom citizenship.

What do you think? What were your initial reactions? Have you had any vivid dreams lately?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nebuchadnezzar, take it easy on the Chili Dogs at 10 at night...

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