‘Every good thing starts with a dream.’ This is the strapline on the poster for the film Wonka. In this colourful tale the young Willy Wonka has a dream as he arrives in a new city renowned for its chocolate. Wonka’s dream is to open a shop selling the best chocolate ever, and at an affordable price so everyone can enjoy it. However, a cartel of evil chocolatiers is determined to foil his wonderful plan.

‘Every good thing starts with a dream.’

This might be something we could say of Joseph. He dreamt of leadership but wasn’t yet ready for it, you could say he bodged the way he told his brothers they would one day bow to him. But he held onto that dream and through many adventures, many dips and valleys, he came out the other side. God kept him and his dream alive, until the day he met Pharaoh and proved to be one of the greatest administrators in a time of terrible famine.

Many of the folk in the Bible have a dream of a better, fairer life. Some like Ruth and Naomi got to see and live it. But Moses could only look at the Promised Land from a distance, and Isaiah gave us his incredible vision of a suffering rescuer who would give his life for us (in Isaiah 53) but in his lifetime he didn’t encounter Jesus for himself.

I wonder if Jesus dreamt of the lives he would change during his long years fixing furniture and building houses with his father. Did he see all the faces of those he would rescue in the future in those long hours as he hung on that cross?

At one point he looked at the people and saw them as sheep without a shepherd. Something we might see now as we look at the restlessness around today. For some back then he became the good shepherd of Psalm 23, and that vision continues now, for all those who find hope and a vision in following him today.

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