Does anyone remember any of the dreams that they’ve had - dreams that you can share with other people, I mean? Long before I was married, before we were even going out, when I was 14 in fact, I had a very vivid dream about my wife, Helen. Usually we forget dreams, don’t we, but I remembered this one! I’m not going to tell you about it, except to say that the dream started with us sitting on the school bus together and I was very disappointed to wake up just as it was about to get interesting.
I can tell you that when I was six I had a dream about a wolf. It was chasing me across some fields near my grandparents’ farm and eventually it chased me up one of the drain pipes outside their farmhouse. I’m not usually very good at shinning up drain pipes, but I got up this one very quickly. And this time I didn’t mind waking up.
The civil rights leader Martin Luther King famously said, in a speech in Washington to hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, ‘I have a dream.’ He was quoting from the Bible. The Bible is full of dreams, and these are dreams which the people who had them remembered.
Have you ever had a dream which seemed to have a real meaning, a dream where you suddenly woke up knowing something you didn’t know before? I’ve had dreams where I thought I was going to do that, but then I realised the dream didn’t make that much sense after all. But in the Bible dreams do make sense, and Joseph had way more dreams than anyone else.
In the song, the storyteller has just woken up. He draws back the curtain and immediately knows that he’s definitely awake. He wishes he could still see Joseph’s famous amazing coat, bright colours shining, wonderful and new. But the dawn is breaking and the colours are fading. He wants to return to the beginning of the dream, like me when I dreamt I was on the school bus, but he can’t. ‘The world and I, we are still waiting,’ he sings, ‘Any dream will do!’
But any dream won’t do! We’re called to share God’s dream - a dream of a world filled with peace and love. But the dream won’t come true just because we want it to. Like the people in the Bible, we have to commit ourselves to helping God realise the dream.
The wise people are good examples. God had a plan that someone would come to live among us and show us exactly what he’s like, and how much he loves us. That someone was Jesus and God made the plan come true, as he’s got a habit of doing, but it could still have gone wrong without the help of the wise men who shared God’s dream and remembered it. They went home another way and thwarted the king who tried to stop the plan from working. It’s as easy as that to do the right thing. We just have to dare to dream.