Monday, November 10, 2014

I Dream of December

We've set our clocks back.  Upon waking, there's daylight slipping through our eyelids and bedroom windows.  The chairs at our dinner tables are occupied for our evening meals together as dusk slips into evening across our country.  Winter is around the corner with its festive holidays we mostly look forward to.  Apart from our creative timekeeping to gain or lose daylight, we're loosing grip of another year.  I say with confidence as 2014 is about to disappear, God is at work.                         

I dreamed one night this weekend.  It was in color.  It was long.  The first of it remains unclear.  What I remember begins with me having some level of responsibility which didn't make me comfortable.  I know the people I was responsible for had to leave.  All of us were scheduled to do so.  Before we were to leave I knew I was supposed to move a table (symbolic of like-minded people meeting together).  The building we were in reminded me of a department store.  There were parallel staircases in the center of the building.  On one landing in one staircase we moved the heavy, brown church table across to another landing on the opposite staircase on a corresponding floor.  

The next scene had me in  another part of the store looking into a glass display case.  A friend of mine from a church I pastored recently was beside me.  Before we moved to where we are now we lived in his former house on Sand Mountain.  I was laughing with him, telling him a confusing story about getting a printer ink cartridge at another time.  There was confusion in getting the exact cartridge I needed because of the item number.  I told him the number on the cartridge I needed was 101.  In the case, there were small white boxes of cartridges with the number 121 either printed or handwritten on them.  I said cartridge 121 will work.  Its sufficient. 

I then turned around and saw a former colleague in ministry.  As my colleague, he was bald.  In the dream, he had wet hair.  He wore a green windbreaker.  I said, "Hey."  He glanced at me momentarily.  I figured he was there to see my friend.   

was then in the next scene sitting in a convertible carriage with my colleague.  The carriage was parked on my elementary school playground.  A carriage in a dream is symbolic of the past.  I told my colleague I watched recently a DVD of a Christmas worship service where he sang and I preached from a pulpit.  We both wore preaching robes and red stoles.  I told him it was two years ago.  He remembered that service. 

We were then in the back seat of a car driven by a stranger and a woman sat beside him.  We pulled beside a large, brick church I presumed to be a Methodist church.  My colleague got out.  I did the same from my side.  The man and woman sitting in the front said, "Goodbye, Jeff."  I told them bye.  Their car was then not on the curb, but in a parking space in front of a cinder block wall.  I walked over to a another parked car nearby I knew was mine with the intent of getting in the driver's side.  I then awoke with my heart pounding. 

So much of this describes my ministerial past.  The table having to be passed out of my hands and responsibility into another position and place references my need to leave my authoritative place in the church.  I was scheduled to do so.  The strangers saying goodbye to me and my word farewell to them was my true departure from the church.  Their car parked beside the church denoted the church was their only destination.  My car parked (a vehicle in a dream means ministry) and my intention to get in and drive away reflected my destiny to be in ministry apart from the UMC. 

The link of the past with the present, to me, is the item numbers and reference to two years.  The first number was 101.  I saw the end of an espionage movie recently where a birthdate given in conversation was not the accurate date of one of the characters.  It was actually a code that gave another character a street address.  In my dream, I believe 101 was really a reference to October 1.  Rosh Hashanah was at the end of September.  We affirmed the beginning of a new Jewish year in church at that time.  Through prophetic words in my brother-in-law's prayer meetings at the end of the summer we all believed October would be significant.  In the Jewish calendar, it is important with it being the new year.  101 was the item number for the right ink cartridge.  121 will be sufficient.  121 could be December 1 (12/1).  

This dream could be telling us (that is, God in the dream could be telling us) this date or December itself will be sufficient/significant to us.  The day before, November 30, will be the first day of Advent, the beginning of a new worship year for those who follow a Christian liturgical calendar.  In fact, this calendar has influenced April and me in ministry more than the Jewish calendar.  As an aside, I went back in my journal to September 30, the day before October 1, to see if anything was there.  I wrote about a dream I had early that morning of Anna and me decorating a Christmas tree in my father's kitchen in his home in Baltimore.  Is this a link with December 1/Advent and the DVD of the Christmas worship service?  Months ago April and I dreamed separately of having a pair of Christmas trees in our own dreams. 

The two year reference is interesting.  This coming December will commemorate the two year anniversary  of my last Christmas as a minister in the United Methodist Church.  Why is Christmas referenced in these dreams?  Regarding two years, several days before we left our friend's house in Albertville, April stood looking out our back door and sensed she heard, "Two days."  Though we hoped we'd experience our destiny  fulfilled in two days, I sensed it might mean two years. Days in prophetic meaning in the bible sometimes means years.  Incidentally, we're still waiting. 

This dream gives hope to April and me.  I believe all the more we're on the verge of something significant.  With that said, and as I've said previously, I will use this medium as a record and means of conveying what God is doing in and through me for the reading of anyone who cares.   

Most importantly, the events and encounters displaying God's goodness recorded here will inspire praise and worship in the days and years to come.  I know this is my job, and it will be to his glory and to your benefit and the well being of generations to come.  Alleluia!

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