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From the Pulpit: What is your dream?

January 27, 2013
By THE REV. BILL STOUT - Weirton Heights Memorial Baptist Church , Weirton Daily Times

Have you had any good dreams lately? We all dream, according to the experts who study these things. The problem is that we often fail to remember them.

There are numerous instances in the Bible of God revealing something to people by means of dreams. People such as Joseph and Daniel in the Old Testament come to mind. Dreams are also present in the New Testament accounts, concerning the birth of Jesus. And some of these dreams were given to persons outside the chosen family of Israel - people like Pharaoh, Abimelech, and Laban.

But dreaming is not just something that people do when they are asleep. Sometimes great thoughts, bold ideas, and steps of faith begin with our dreams. We have just celebrated once again the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a dreamer. And we remember his "I Have a Dream" speech given 50 years ago in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. His dream was for equality and justice - not just for some - but for everyone. Five years later he would sacrifice his life for the sake of that dream.

Jesus Christ preached and taught frequently about the coming of God's Kingdom. He, too, would offer His life for the sake of that Kingdom.

I also like to dream. As a pastor, I dream about what it would be like if every member of our churches would strive to grow spiritually, and seek to become a fully committed follower of Jesus. What would it be like if we could find a way to eliminate the hatred and violence that exists in this world? What would happen if we could teach and lead by example, so that there would no longer be prejudice in our society? If we could end poverty? If we could put a stop to abusive behaviors? If if if?

"Wait a minute," you say. "That's impossible." "You cannot change the world." I agree. But that does not mean we should give up. When we influence one person - when we reach out in love and humility - when we are willing to listen without judging - when we try to understand - when we help carry someone's burden - when we become a friend - then we begin the process of fulfilling the dream.

Each day we have a choice. We can embrace the status quo. We can complain about how bad things are. Or we can decide to invest our lives in the Kingdom-building business that our Lord tells us about in the Scriptures. He challenges us: "Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness "

("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)

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