Vicar's September Letter

Revd. Angela Walker

Dear friends, I wonder if you ever listen to your dreams? In the bible God speaks to people in many different ways and one of the ways God chooses to communicate with his people is through dreams.

The Old Testament prophets were people that God communicated with through dreams and visions. In Numbers 12:6 God says ‘When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.

The prophets were people known to be full of the Holy Spirit and they spoke what God gave them.

In Genesis 28:12 Jacob had a dream of a stairway leading up to heaven where he saw God standing at the top with angels ascending and descending. God spoke to Jacob from the top of the stairway saying I will give you this land.

In Gen 37:5 Joseph as a young boy, had a dream that his brothers and parents were bowing down in front of him indicating his future high position as 2nd in command over all Egypt. Later in the story of Joseph, we find him interpreting the dreams of two fellow inmates in prison and also interpreting Pharaoh’s dream because God had given him insight and the gift of dream interpretation.

In 1 Kings 3:5 God appeared to Solomon in a dream telling him ‘ask for whatever you want and I will give it’. Solomon then asked for wisdom.

In Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar had dreams and was very troubled. The astrologers, magicians, sorcerers and enchanters couldn’t interpret the dream but Daniel, a man full of the spirit of God, could and did interpret them for him.

Later on, however, God promised through the Prophet Joel to pour out his Spirit on all people, so that they would then dream dreams and see visions. (Joel 2:28)

In the New Testament we see dreams often becoming the means by which God chooses to communicate with his people.

In Matt 1:20 an angel appears to Joseph in a dream telling him to escape with Jesus and Mary to Egypt.

In Matt 2:12 The Magi (wise men) are warned in a dream not to go back to Herod.  In Matt 2:19 God warns Joseph, again in a dream, and tells him it is now OK to take Mary and Jesus back to Israel.

But then again in Matt 2: 22 Joseph has a third dream in which he is warned of further danger and told to take his family to Nazareth.

Even Pilate, a non-believer, is warned through his wife’s dream in Matt 27:19 she warns her husband not to touch Jesus because he is innocent.

But not all our dreams are messages or warnings from God. In Ecclesiastes 5:3 the bible tells us that dreams come when there are many cares. So how do we know when a dream is significant and meant to teach us something? How do we know when to take them seriously or not?

Most dreams are forgotten moments after waking. Even horrid dreams are soon forgotten. But there are dreams that seem to demand more attention, they do not go away, they remain in our consciousness throughout the day fading over time.

Somehow they seem to relate to our particular circumstances. Some dreams come when we are stressed about something, or if we are grieving. Often we see our departed love ones in our dreams and these can bring needed comfort or reveal our fears. Usually these dreams are simply our inner being trying to heal itself and work out the traumas. But occasionally we may have a vivid dream that we know is somehow significant, it is often detailed and grabs our attention. We get the impression that the dream is trying to tell us something if only we understood what.

We must remember that dreams are picture language and we do things in our dreams that seem impossible in real life. Jumping off of the top of a very high building in a dream, and landing safely in a pile of wooden crates without a scratch on us, could indicate that we need to take a high risk, and the outcome will be fine. Or it could indicate the need to burn our bridges, no going back. It often takes the insight of another to help us interpret the dream. Do you listen to your dreams or do you put them all down to the film you watched, or the book you read before going to sleep? Maybe, just maybe, God is trying to communicate with you through your dreams, are you listening? I would be happy to help you try to understand the meaning of your dreams if you want me to.

Happy dreaming

Revd Angela Walker.