Journeys with Joseph — Dreams

Journeys with Joseph -- Dreams

As a member of a Lutheran church in Chicago, I was a part of a dream group.  Every other week, people from the congregation would gather and share their dreams as a spiritual practice.  I had never even heard of such a thing and I was pretty skeptical in the beginning.  Early on in the group, we talked about the importance of dreams in Scripture.  One of the primary examples lifted up was the Joseph story that we are following this summer.  From the beginning of the story to the end, dreams play a critical role in this story.  Often times in Scripture, dreams are one of the ways that God speaks to the people.  This week’s portion of the story is no exception.

In this week’s episode, Joseph is summoned to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.  In doing so, Joseph reveals that there will be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine coming to the land.  This interpretation will allow forethought and preparation to take place.  This revelation will ultimately save the people, Joseph, and his family.

God spoke to Joseph and also Pharaoh using dreams.  Might this still be true today?  Might God still be speaking to us in our dreams?  Perhaps.  Like any time we are trying to discern how God is speaking or what God is doing, it’s important to remember that Scripture serves as a good foundation for what we know of God and how God works.  Additionally, discernment is both individual and communal.  While it’s important to individually contemplate God’s action, involving others in that process is also vital.  In fact, for me in the dream group, it was in conversation with others about the images and themes in my dreams that God was most clear.  The people around me saw and heard things that I didn’t see by myself.  Pharaoh too, needs another person to help discern what God might be doing and saying and Joseph is the person who helps.  Together, God, Joseph and Pharaoh act to save the people.

-Pastor Elizabeth Nees


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