God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up … flee to Egypt.” – Matthew 2:13 (MSG)
Why do congregations and churches still exist in 2021? We are here to protect the Jesus story. Joseph saved the story when it was just a baby, by listening to his dreams. Joseph trusted both his fears and his hopes.
We are co-conspirators with heaven and nature, rocks, hills floods and plains. We are here to sing songs and to store the songs in our minds, hearts and dreams. Our epistemology is unconscious, pre-conscious, dreamy as well as rational, textual, historical and truth-seeking. We have learned to trust our dreams. We have learned to trust.
We are here to help people learn to trust. I’ve never understood why people care so much about the word “Believe.” The Jesus story is not something we believe; it is something we trust.
Joseph had four small dreams. That is not a lot of evidence, but for him it was enough. Plus, what else did he have to do but protect the one born of the Holy Spirit—his son but not his son? Even if that meant fleeing to Egypt just because of a dream? Why trust a dream?
His dream was not all wonderful. It was also a great warning to trust the existence of Herods. Indeed, they are always hovering. Like Joseph, our job is to get out of the way of Jesus’ birthing, again and again. Like Joseph, we learn that our job is to return home by another way. With Joseph, we learn to trust what we can never really believe. We lean towards the truth of our dreams
We are co-conspirators with heaven and nature, rocks, hills floods and plains. We are here to sing songs and to store the songs in our minds, hearts and dreams.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Francis: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.