Matthew 2:1-12 – Epiphany* of the Lord – for Friday*, January 6
“Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route . . .” (Matthew 2:12)
Mary, however, received a formal visit from Gabriel to discuss a divine future.
Those wandering, follow-the-star wise guys fitfully dreamed of Herod’s schemes.
The shepherds experienced a starlight symphony, hillside seats for an angelic orchestra.
Dreams distinguished Matthew and Luke’s unique accounts of the nativity. Matthew waited for the participants to settle into sleep. Everybody seemed to have eyes wide open in Luke. Indeed, in Luke, there were no dreams. But Matthew, from start to finish, from the first anxious thoughts of Jesus’ impending birth to the holy family’s return from Egypt, sleeper’s sleep and dreamer’s dream.
I have no idea if my dreaming is “average.” My odd, early morning habits—I rise around 4am to begin writing—may thwart potential dreams. And yet I recall some dreams, especially ones that recurred with startling similarities. For years—decades!—I dreamed about a glitch with college graduation. Did I finish my degree? I’d awake unsettled, as if living a lie. When younger, I regularly dreamed of flying. Airborne dreams, I’ve read, are common. Common or not, I enjoyed mine. Unlike waking with the dread of deceit, my winged memories provided uplifting feelings.
Dreams can be sexual, symbolic, graphic, and ephemeral. We fall and never hit the ground. We walk through rooms that later, awake and with eyes as wide open as Luke’s Mary, make us feel like we’ve been in that place before. Continue reading →