Posts Tagged Speaking
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.” [NRSV]
Joseph and his dreams
- OT: It is Jacob’s son, Joseph who has visions and dreams where God is revealed to him even as a child.
- His dream that the shafts of wheat would bow down to him offended his brothers who sold him into slavery.
- While imprisoned, Joseph becomes known as one who interprets dreams as God’s messages. Later he is called on to explain Pharaoh’s dreams and describes how they will have abundant years followed by lean years. Pharaoh placed Joseph as is second-in-charge to prepare for the years of famine.
- During the drought, Joseph’s brothers journey to Egypt and to Joseph’s court asking for food to feed their family. After some testing, he reveals himself to his brothers that enslaved him who bow before him. His dream is revealed over the span of his life.
- NT: Now Mary’s husband, and Jesus’s foster parent, our Joseph from today’s text continues the experience of God speaking through dreams.
- God sends an angel to comfort and assure Joe when Mary becomes pregnant.
- God speaks in a dream warning Joseph to leave town and avoid Herod and his plot to kill the baby Jesus.
- God uses Joe’s dreams to direct him to live in Egypt. (Note the geography similarity to Jacob’s Joseph in Genesis.)
- God speaks in a dream to call Joseph to return to Israel and leave the far country to return home.
- God uses Joe’s dream to direct him away from Herod’s son and to live in Galilee region in the city of Nazareth.
Does Joseph Sleeps Alot?
- I don’t think he slept too much, but it seems that is the time that Joseph was most receptive of God’s word and direction.
- It is rare that God speaks through thundering clouds and a voice from heaven rubbles down.
- It is more common that God speaks through other people, through music, through art, and through creation itself.
- Not everyone pays attention during the sermon: ref. “Best Sleep I get all Week..”
- Not everyone enjoys singing or pays attention to the words.
- Not everyone is patient enough to listen after exhausting our list of petitions in prayer.
- Some folk are too busy at work, at school or even in their own homes.
Joseph is one of those who God found his attention when everything else was laid to rest.
Where and When is God Most Likely to Speak to You?
Just as we might hope and expect to find presents under a Christmas Tree, we hope and expect to find God when we are a church. Gathered with God’s people doing good and right service, witness and worship. But there are times that we are too preoccupied with something else even when we are in the “God Zone.”
The original intention of Sabbath as a day of rest was not simply to cease working. It is a vacation from our vocation. A clearing of the table that cluttered with junk and find the level foundation where we can begin afresh.
As we continue in this season of Christmas, carve out time to be silent, open and patient for God.
It might be easier now that most of the holiday festivities are behind us. Possibly now is a better time to find Christ born anew than at the reenactment of the nativity.
The shepherds took a bigger than broadway production to get their attention.
The wise men looked to distant star and calculations and a map.
Marry and Joseph had their sleep interrupted.
Have you ever had trouble falling asleep or going back to sleep after waking up?
It seems that is my every-night struggle.
Rather than fight it, take that time listen for God.
Prayer journaling, FB chatting (you’d be surprised who is up ready to pray with you), read the Psalms (That will put you to sleep for sure..lol) Just ask God to speak. Be quiet and listen.
No matter the time of day or night, we can sleep and work right through God’s message and guidance.
Out fears, worries, control, stubbornness and uncertainty can cloud our visions and keep us apart.
Turn the Christmas tree lights back on, light a candle (that you blow out before falling asleep), and pray for the Light of Word to Open your heart and mind.
Speak to us and give us ears to hear and hearts to trust and minds to believe.
Let us know what you hear from God.
Joseph did.. as we see how God protected, prepared, moved and shaped Joseph and his family throughout their lives. A pretty good example if you ask.
Merry Christmas.. See you next Sunday.. it will still be Christmas then too.
Just Keep ‘IT’ to Your Self
- For some the default is to take this parable’s teaching to the extreme.
- These folks will keep their mouths and hearts closed so tightly that prefer to err on the side of not speaking, rather than say the wrong thing.
- But what does it feel like to keep something inside, something that should not eat at your own heart for keeping quiet.
Yes, there is a place for confidence, trust and secrets.. these are not what the parable is addressing.
- Jesus is teaching about what needs to be shared or told.
Think about the things that have come out of your mouth in the last 24 hours: There are a sets of tools that help us learn to communicate well.
- Some tools prevent good. For example when we focus on blame, sarcasm, and assumptions that close hearts, minds and doors.
- Some tools are information only. Details, information, facts and figures, which in theme selves are not communication, but can either help or hinder what we say.
- Finally there are tools and methods that promote good conversation. When we hear from the other person’s perspective, when we let others know we hear them independent of judging them. When we work toward agreement that is not coerced.
- The catch is that we generally carry more tools from the first bag of resources and give up before we reach the third one.
If you have visited a National Park website lately, you will find new educational resources that give a more afro-centric account about the significance of historical markers and events at the park. Now, this is a tricky business. Because the task is not to re-write history, rather to add more voices to complete the pictures we have of our common history.Jesus is primarily talking, not about politics, rather our faith message to the world:
- We have almost no religious restrictions on our diets. The only one has been a request of Methodist to choose to abstain from drinking alcohol. “I thought we were the all things in moderation church?, aren’t we?” Technically we are not. Our history recognized when society abuses a substance to the degree it affects not only the individual person but the whole society, it would be best to make personal choices to avoid it’s use.
- If we take the same model, and think of how sugar, salt, processed and modified food, on the same grounds we should also abstain from these items. So when out Baptist friends try to tell us that the wine that Jesus consumed was somehow watered down, remind them that Jesus himself turned water into wine, that was the very best the professional sommelier, wine steward, had ever tasted.
- If it is for judgement and condemnation that we demean and divide people because of any substance, then we have allow a ‘thing’ to become more important that the person. That is Idolatry.(a whole other sermon)
So if our lesson is..
- not to simply keep quiet,
- not to say whatever comes to our mind
- not to twist the words of others
- not to use words to judge or condemn
What IS it we are suppose to get?
This is why Peter speaks up to ask for clarification.. give us the Cliff NotesTM Jesus.
Jesus gets to the heart of the matter.
- First, physical things go the way of what is physical.
- Our Words come from the heart… that is what matters.
- Sometimes our words are untrue or insincere and they are only good for the sewer..
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
The disciples and the people would have known this verse by heart.
Jesus gives a list of the terrible things that can come from our heart, even if we don’t speak the words aloud:
evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, lying, slander
vs what our heart could say:
goodness, healing, respect, love, sharing, truth, and support.
Here is ‘THE’ Question:
What is the world hearing from your heart?
- Is your heart silent?
- Open Up! Speak Out Clear!
- Is your heart screaming Anger, Fear, Judgement, Control
- Stop talking, hear what those around you are saying.
- Is your heart speaking God’s voice!
- Praise the Lord!