DATE: 13 July 2014
TO: Manantial de Gracia
TITLE: I am that DREAMER, and so are you

Hebrew Scripture Texts
Genesis 37:19 (NLT)

“Here comes the dreamer!” they said.

Christian Gospel Readings
Romans 8: 5-8

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

Matthew 14: 25-31

Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out in fear. But Jesus quickly spoke to them, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter said, “Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”

Poem: A Dream Deferred
Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Thank you for welcoming back home after a summer away. I want to thank you all for the patience you continuously show me as I travel to and from. This last trip, I returned once more to the Franklinton Center at Bricks and I learned a bit about farming!

You all know how much I enjoy telling stories, and today I want to tell you a story you probably already know. Mixed in with a dream or two…

Today’s story comes from the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 14, verses 25-31. Let me tell you the story:

Like many of Jesus’ stories this one took place along the beach. Jesus had been telling stories (preaching). He sent his peoples ahead of him to the boat and across the lake while he finished saying his goodbyes.

After everyone was gone, Jesus went up into the hills to spend time alone in prayer. By the time he returned a storm seemed to be brewing and so the boat had made it far into the distance. Between 3 and 6 in the morning Jesus had managed to walk pretty close to the boat.

Some of the passengers thought that it was a ghost, but Jesus told them, “don’t be afraid, have courage!”

Peter, said to him, “Jesus if it is really you command me to walk on the water to you…”

Before I continue, let us pray: …

This weeks sermon is titled: I am that DREAMER, and so are you

Usually we hear about dreams around February, when Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I had a dream” speech once more becomes important. Or maybe dreams are part of your everyday thought process, as you try to remember that dream that startled out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night. Or, that poem that you learned in your youth sticks in your head as a reminder of living out your potential, Langston Hughes asked,

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

When we meet Joseph, his brothers call him a dreamer, and he was… but aren’t we all dreamers at some point, with stars in our eyes, knowing that we are meant for SOMETHING. ANYTHING.

Some of us have heard God’s voice speak greatness into our lives and yet, we stay still and much like [a] raisin in the sun, we dry up. But we are meant for greater things. We are meant to dream big. Because when we dream big, and put our fears aside we allow faith to take over and walk us into our destiny.

Church, that destiny is not exclusive. It is open to all of us. God meant us to live a life of love, but if we don’t dare to dream how can we be surprised when nothing great happens.

Peter walked on water when all he had was a notion of a dream. How else can you explain daring to ask Jesus to call him over and allow him to walk on water? When you dare to ask God, you get a guide. And for Peter, Jesus was his guide. When Peter truly opened his eyes and realized that the impossible had become possible, he fell into the water, more afraid of the known than the unknown.

We need to be like all those dreamers that came before that paved a way for us. Joseph was a dreamer and though his life was complicated, he lived the life of a dreamer.

Peter, when he dreamed, was able to walk on water.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and we are still living towards that dream.
Langston Hughes knew that dreams left untreated and unfulfilled could someday explode.

But I envision that explosion as an explosion of God’s glory pushing you forward, towards something you remember once having desired.

This church has spent a few years desiring newness, dreaming of the day when something new would be possible. As my friend Ebrima fondly reminds me, when the possible is not possible, when the probable is improbable…trust God.

Be a dreamer. Live towards God’s dream.

Prayer: God of dreamers, protect us from ourselves. Keep us focused on you, let us together dream big. Rescue us from our fear filled eyes and guide us towards your purpose. Amen.