Dreams and Encouragement

Professor Paul Matthews is a regular quiet guy who goes into his class to discover that many of his students have started having dreams about him. This goes on for a while, and word spreads, and unbidden, Paul Matthews becomes a celebrity, a star. So much so that an advertising company wants to use him to advertise the drink Sprite. However, when Paul starts being violent in the dreams the opposite happens. Now, through no fault of his own, everyone turns against him, and he is suddenly public enemy number one. We live in an age where, due to the internet, people become heroes and villains very quickly, the public decides to elevate or destroy people with no sense of care or responsibility. And that is what is happening here.

Recently on a TV programme, a group of youngsters were shown a video of a young singer and asked to rate her performance. They were all pretty harsh with their comments and scores. To their shock, the singer then came into the room, and they were asked to read out their reviews to her. They were embarrassed by the face-to-face, real-life experience, when the criticism was no longer faceless and online. Hopefully this was, in the end, a positive learning experience for the group of youngsters.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Jesus has forgiven you. That’s what we’re advised in Ephesians 4 v 32. Paul encourages us to watch out for each other, not to pedestalise or destroy each other. It’s not easy, we are all flawed and this makes it easy to spot the mistakes others make. We are different too, and that can be a problem for us, people don’t see things as we do. We’re on the way to Christmas now, when Jesus came as a new kind of leader, kind-hearted, tender-hearted and forgiving. He cherishes us and loves it when we are kind to others and in doing so honour the God who made us, the God who with tiny fingers gripped a grubby, grisly shepherd’s hand. The God who lifts up the humble, the weak and the grieving; the side-lined, and the cancelled. This is our God, this is our king, the king of kindness.

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