Friday, Dec. 23            Read Matthew 1:18-25

from Kenneth M. Hardway, First Christian Church, Wheeling, WV, and Associate Regional Minister  for Youth and Young Adults:

God is with us.  Promise.  Hope.  The answer to our prayers, “Be near to us, O Lord.”  As near as the sun’s warmth upon our skin that breaks through the cold.  As near to us as the songs placed upon our hearts.  As near to us as the beating of our own hearts.  As near to us as our dreams.


Dreams have had a profound place in the story of God with us, especially in the book of ‘beginnings’ called Genesis.  God speaking to the hearts of the faithful: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph.  God has even used dreams to speak to unlikely characters like Abimelech and Pharaoh.


In this beginning of something new, something wonderful in Matthew’s Gospel, God again speaks through a dream to reassure and to empower the faithful to continue on.  God is doing a new thing!  And God is near.


“What keeps you up at night?”  That is a question that gets to the heart of our stresses and our worries.  But today you are asked, “What do you dream about?”  This is a question of open hearts, even as we slumber.  And an assurance of hope: God is near to us.


Give us hopeful rest, O God, and grant us dreams of our present that point us to your future. Amen.