Dreams and Visions
Opening Question: Have you ever had a dream that you didn't understand? What was the dream? Did you ever figure out what the dream was all about?
First Reading: Genesis 15:5-10a,18
Abraham had a dream about a deal, an agreement, God wanted to make with him.
Willie and George had a deal. George was going to take over Willie's yard jobs one weekend for $50.00, while George was on vacation. Willie was so anxious to have the weekend off, he even loaned George his equipment.
For his part, George was willing to do the work, but he wanted to know when Willie would pay him. He wanted to be paid by Monday. "Willie, if you don't pay me by Monday, I get to keep your lawnmower and gas trimmer," George said. Willie agreed to George's demands with a hand shake.
What would have happened, if, the next Monday, Willie gave George $50.00 AND the lawn equipment? What kind of a person would Willie be?
What kind of a person is God? He gave Abraham many family members and land, just because he wanted to. God was willing to give the things Abraham wanted the most. Because Abraham received these as God's gifts, he believed in God.
Bridging Question: What good things do we receive from God?
Gospel: Luke 9:28b-36
Jesus took Peter, John, and James along as he climbed the mountain to pray. During his prayer on the mountain, the face of Jesus changed into something never seen before. And his clothes became as white as a lightening flash. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah were talking to Jesus about his death, which would happen in Jerusalem. They appeared as bright as Jesus.
Now, Peter and his companions were really sleepy. But, then, they completely woke up! They saw the glory of Jesus and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it's good for us to be here. Let's pitch three tents. One for you. One for Moses. And one for Elijah." But Peter didn't really know what he was talking about.
As Peter spoke, a cloud appeared and cast its shadow over them. They were really afraid when they entered the cloud. Then, a voice called out from the cloud: "This is my Son, the one I chose. Listen to him." After the voice spoke, they only found Jesus there.
The three followers grew very quiet. And, at that time, they didn't tell anyone what they had seen.
Joanie couldn't sleep that night. When she did sleep, she had the strangest dreams. The next morning, one dream kept running over and over in her mind.
In that dream, she was chased by a dog the size of her house. The faster she ran, the closer the dog came. But there was a funny part to the dream. The slower she ran, the slower the dog ran, and the smaller the dog seemed to be. The image just kept bothering her.
"Mom, what does the dream mean?" Joanie asked.
"Have you ever been scared by dogs?" her mother replied.
"Yeah," Joanie said. "I remember when I was little girl, I was scared by the large Doberman down the street. But I remember that when I stood across the street from the dog, I wasn't as scared."
"Now, why do you think you had this dream?" her mom asked.
Joanie was silent for a minute; then she said, "I'm unsure about tomorrow's test in English. When I think about too much, I get scared. I think I'll go study for the test." Later that day, she felt comfortable about the test and her fear left her.
Peter, James, and John had a vision of Jesus that felt like a frightening dream. They saw him shining like the sun. They saw Jesus with two people who lived a long time ago. And they heard a voice from the clouds. This vision really shook them up.
Later, things began to make sense. Moses and Elijah represented the Jewish faith. And these two men were talking to Jesus about his coming death. So, everything the Jewish faith said pointed to the death of the Christ.
When Peter, James, and John grew up, the listened to the words of Moses and prophets like Elijah in the Bible. Now, God told the disciples to listen to and trust Jesus. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, the disciples remembered the experience and its lesson. Even though Jesus was gone, they still trusted what he told them. And they still trusted him in their prayers.
Closing Question: We show God we trust him when we pray. What would you like to pray about right now?