Prepare: Bring a pillow, you are going to talk about dreams!
Welcome the children and then tell them that you are going to take a little nap. Make a big show of getting the pillow just right and talk about how you are trying to figure out what to do next with a big project, or wondering about what advice to give to a friend, and you are hoping for a good dream to help you out. This might get a reaction of “no, that’s silly” or it might not. Work with whatever you get to start talking about dreams.
So, you don’t think that I will figure out what to do by waiting for a dream? Maybe you’re right. I mean, dreams don’t usually mean too much. It seems like most of the time they are just our brains replaying some of the things that happened during the day. I mean, even dogs dream! Or at least they seem to. Have you ever seen a dog dream? Sometimes they bark a little, or they look like they are running. Maybe they are dreaming about chasing a squirrel or cat that they saw. I know that most of my dreams seem to be about the things I did during the day. (Tell a quick dream story here. I will give an example) I remember I always used to have dreams about work when I used to be a waiter at a restaurant, especially after a really busy night. I would have dreams that I was running around the restaurant trying to keep up with all the people. I would wake up more tired than when I went to sleep!
Ok, so if dreams are usually about things that we did during the day, why would I think that I could go to bed to figure out how to help my friend? In the story we hear from the Gospel today that is exactly what happens! When Jesus was born there was a king named Herod who heard about a powerful king being born in Bethlehem – that’s was Jesus. He thought that Jesus was going to take over his kingdom and he didn’t want that to happen. He was willing to do anything to make sure that Jesus would never get old enough to be king. Mary and Joseph had no idea what was being planned, until one night when Joseph had a dream where an angel told him to get up and take Mary and Jesus to Egypt, far away from Herod and danger. That was a pretty special dream. What’s even more amazing is that Joseph had another dream when it was safe to bring Jesus back home!
God used something as normal and common as a dream to tell Joseph what to do to keep Jesus safe. That is pretty cool! Think about all the things that happen to you every day. All those boring normal things that you just don’t think about. Could God use those boring things to tell you something? Keep your eyes and ears ready, you never know when God will tell you something important in an unexpected place!
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