Speaking to the Soul: The Dreamers

Week of 1 Lent, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 41, 52 (morning) // 44 (evening)

Genesis 37:1-11

1 Corinthians 1:1-19

Mark 1:1-13

With all the competition for airwaves and sound bites, I’ve noticed that one category of persons has been neglected lately. However, our first reading this morning brings them right back to our attention. These people are known as “DREAMers”, and they include about 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Many of them have grown into adulthood with very limited opportunities to participate in the social or economic life of the only nation they know as home.

In the first verse of our reading from Genesis, we meet a man who has fulfilled a dream to make himself a homeland where his father was a stranger: “Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan.” I hope that we can pray deeply and earnestly that our nations can become hospitable homelands for people who come to them as strangers.

As the passage goes on, we learn that Jacob’s son Joseph is a dreamer in his own right. In Joseph’s peculiar dreams, his brothers’ sheaves of grain bow down to his; the sun, moon, and eleven stars bow down to him as well. Joseph’s dreams of prosperity and power provoke his brothers quite a bit. As the Scripture says, “they hated him even more because of his dreams.” It didn’t help, of course, that the brothers felt their father gave Joseph preferential treatment.

The DREAMers in the United States also trigger charges of unfairness and feelings of envy and anger, as if prosperity and power are far too limited to be shared. But perhaps we’ll find ourselves in a land of promise only when we can share it peaceably with God’s many children.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with education, young adult ministry, and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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