As my Facebook friends know, I frequently have weird, vivid dreams. They are often entertaining and sometimes just symptomatic of my need for vacation. Dreams that would make a good sci-fi novel are nothing new for me. I remember them when I wake up and often make a brief FB post about them before they disappear. But today I’ve been kind of haunted by images from last night’s dream. Bits of it have come to me at different times of the day. This is what I remember:
Social media exploded with a story about puzzle pieces being delivered to every existing faith community around the world with a simple note in the appropriate language. The note read, “Join this with the others to know the Truth.” At first, people believed this to mean that they should join their pieces with those who belonged to the same religion, sect, or denomination in a particular country. But when all the American UCC congregations put their pieces together, it resumed the size and shape of the original piece. This was true of Catholics, Presbyterians and Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists—all faiths—the United States and everywhere else.
I kept saying that all the pieces had to be joined together around the world. For a long time no one listened. Faith leaders were distracted by the mystery of where the pieces came from and who had the “right” one, the one that would reveal this Truth. This search to understand the mystery seemed to go on for years until other voices joined my own. Together a group of us managed to convince all the religions of the world to send their pieces to a central meeting place to be assembled. And, predictably, there was a lot of argument about where this should happen. It was determined that it would happen on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean so no country could claim ownership. Delegates were sent to the ship with their puzzle pieces and those of us who had called for the gathering were also invited.
After much argument about who would go first and speculation on what the results would be, a time was set. In the grand ballroom of the cruise ship, the pieces began to be assembled by all the delegates of all the religions of the world. I was watching from a balcony as the pieces were assembled. Some saw nothing other than the gold of the original pieces. Some walked away in great sadness. Others watched and wept. In the end, there was a sphere about as large as my fist that became a mirror of sorts. The mirror reflected back to the viewer the image as seen by God.
When I was waiting for my turn to look at the sphere, I overheard an argument about the foolishness of those who believed in this hoax. There was no one God and this was all a joke to set up people dumb enough to think the world could be different. I woke up thinking that some people just cannot let go of the lies they tell themselves. Unfortunately, I woke up before I was able to get a close look at the sphere.
Now I think about this dream and the lectionary texts. I’m not sure if we aren’t still sitting in darkness talking about the light more than we’ve actually stepped out into it. I wonder if the world would be different if those first disciples couldn’t let go of their nets and their way of being in the world long enough to follow Jesus. I wonder if that isn’t what’s happening in the world today as the secular becomes far more prominent than the sacred. And I ask myself what I am clinging to, that if I were to let go, I could follow Jesus more immediately.
I also really want to know what the world looks like when viewed through Sacred eyes.
RCL – Year A – Third Sunday after Epiphany – January 26, 2014
Psalm 27:1, 4-9
I Corinthians 1:10-18