Summary: The people of Israel had a centuries-old dream of a Messiah. The dream has finally come true in the birth of Jesus.
The Dream Has Come True
John 1:1-5, 14
December 18, 2005
When our kids were in Jr. High School, we took them to Disney World for the first time. We spent a couple of days there. They, of course, loved every minute of it. They did all of the scary and wild rides, ate more junk food than I could ever imagine, and were disappointed when the days were over. I, on the other hand, was hot and grumpy most of the time, wouldn’t go near any of those crazy rides, and wanted a hamburger that didn’t cost seven bucks. The best time I had was when we went on that tram ride that spirals up inside the big EPCOT golf ball thing. The EPCOT Center was full of great stuff that I enjoyed, but the kids didn’t. I have always said that I wouldn’t mind going back now with just Toni so we could spend a whole day at EPCOT.
In 1965, Walt Disney purchased forty-three square miles of property in the Orlando vicinity because he had a dream of building a model city. He called it EPCOT, or “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” When he died, his dream was reworked and EPCOT became sort of a permanent World’s Fair. Disney’s original dream didn’t come true. He wanted a climate-controlled, glass-domed city, which would make it very comfortable for people to get around. One of the afternoons we were there, we got drenched in a pouring rainstorm. So much for controlling the climate.
Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent, and we are reminded of some dreams that have indeed come true in the birth of Jesus. Let’s be reminded of what those dreams were.
Back in the Old Testament, things were not going very well for King Ahaz. He and his people were afraid of the future and didn’t know what to do in the present. God said through the prophet Isaiah, that Ahaz shouldn’t be afraid. In fact said God, here is a sign that things will turn out all right. In chapter 7 verse 14 of Isaiah’s prophesy, he said, “The young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” There’s the dream; the son that would be born and would be named Immanuel, God with us.
. In chapter 9, Isaiah continues with the dream.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined…For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor; Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore (9:2b, 6-7).
There’s the dream: One that will sit on the throne of David and establish justice and bring peace.
Again, in chapter 11, we read:
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them (11:6).
Do you catch the excitement and wonder of the dream? Christmas is just a few days away. Christmas is the time when dreams come true. What was once just a dream has now become reality. Immanuel, God with us has come. The child born in a manger is also the royal occupant of the throne of David. Salvation is found in the baby born to take away the sins of the world.
John the Evangelist testifies about the dream’s fulfillment.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it…
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory… (John 1:1-5, 14).
The word “dwelling” is more accurately translated as “tent” or “tabernacle.” In other words, God has pitched his tent in our presence.
Let me take you back to sometime during the second millennium BC, when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. They prayed to God for relief from their suffering and God heard their groanings, lifting up Moses as the one to lead them to freedom. After they had left Egypt, they were camped at the foot of Mount Sinai in the desert. It was there that God began to give them instruction. The Ten Commandments came first and then, directions for building a sanctuary. Exodus 25:8-9 says: