Reader 1: And what are our dreams for the future? Are they not reflections of the various dreams recorded in Scripture, spoken by the ancients which, even today, still echo in our hearts?
R2: For we remember God’s promise of repentance after the flood: “I will never again curse the ground of humankind; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature." (Genesis 9:12-15; 8:21-22)
R3: We recall the day when Hannah praised God in these terms: “The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The Lord raises up the poor from the dust; God lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with the rulers and inherit a seat of honor.” (1 Samuel 2: 1-8)
R4: We dream of the day when "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:3-9)
R5: We long for the day when "every boot of the trampling warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire." (Isaiah 9: 6, 7)
R6: We yearn for the day when even the beasts of the field share in the promise of God’s full providence. “When all shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord." (Joel 2:19-26)
R7: We dream of that time when all nations "shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; none shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4:3-4)
R8: We clap our hands in anticipation for the day when the lame shall be restored, the outcast will be gathered, and God will change their shame into praise. (Zephaniah 3:19)
R9: With eagerness we lean toward the time when the mighty will topple from their thrones, when those of low degree will be exalted, when the hungry will be gather at the banquet table. (Luke 1:51-53)
R10: Our hearts ache for the time when the People of God will again be anointed with the power to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
R11: We know in our innermost hearts that creation itself waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; that creation itself, which has been groaning in travail, will be set free from its bondage to decay. (Romans 8:19-24)
R12: For we, too, have a dream, a dream of a “new heaven and a new earth,” when all shall see that “ the dwelling of the Lord is with humankind. God will dwell with them, and they shall be God’s people, and the Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)
R13: I, too, have a dream.
ALL: We, too, have a dream.
R14: Today we pledge to infect our young ones with this dream.
ALL: To shout it from the mountaintops.
R15: To ponder it when we rise in the morning, to meditate on it throughout the day, to cherish it in our hearts in the late night hours.
ALL: God give us the strength and the vision to remain faithful to this dream.
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org.