Summary: Story format sermon in special Christmas service with three parts interspersed with scripture reading and carols.

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READ -- Matthew 1:18-19

“This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” (NLT)

Joseph’s Crazy Dream -- PROLOGUE

There are a least three types of dreaming that we do.

Martin Luther King, Jr demonstrated the first with his “I Have a Dream” speech.

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:

"'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

This kind of dreaming happens while we’re fully awake -- and it involves envisioning a better future.

The second type of dreaming occurs while we’re sleeping -- typically about two hours per night during the REM stage. This is the time when the most random events and people show up in the most unexpected places. Weirdness is prevalent -- running but never arriving -- and at the end realizing that you’ve been naked the whole time. Sometimes such dreams are quite scary.

The best way to explain these dreams is to say that they are the equivalent to the disk defragmentation that you do on your hard drive. Little bits of random information are moved around and reorganized so that they are stored in an appropriate configuration -- unlike your hard drive, though, not necessarily the most efficient position for access in the brain but slotted and linked in a way that protects our minds from overload and insanity. And occasionally solving a problem over which we’ve been noodling.

The third type of dreaming is -- perhaps well described as mystical -- or even better yet, as mystery. Divine messages or insights doing end-runs around the clutter of our consciousness -- breaking through to get our full and undivided attention.

While this is not as common in the detached and calculated scientific West -- dream messages occur quite often in other parts of the world. It’s happening around the world -- even today.

A radical Egyptian terrorist has a dream in which Jesus speaks to him and quite suddenly his heart is changed and he is transformed into a follower.

There are similar stories from Indonesia, India, and Bangladesh. common stories.

The churches in Iran are bulging with converts who have had a dream encounter with Jesus.

Don’t ask me to explain it. I have no explanation. It’s a mystery.

And there are times when our dreams collide with each other -- the mysterious swerves into the pathway of the REM dream -- and results in a vertigo that flips our personal dreams -- a divinely orchestrated twilight zone that stands life on its head.

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