This coming Sunday is the day when we switch to Daylight Savings Time — and lose an hour of sleep. So I decided to do a service all about sleep. I found several poems about sleep that I’m going to use. But I’m also going to work in a passage from the Nevi’im, the minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible — the famous passage in Joel 2:28, which is translated in the King James Version as “…your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions…” As someone who can now be called an “old man” (I’m certainly no longer middle aged), I tend to prefer the International Standard Version (ISV) translation, except I use the word “elders” in place of the ISV’s “elderly people” as a term of greater respect:
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.
Your elders will dream dreams,
and your young people will see visions.
As a Transcendentalist, I’ve had my share of both dreams and visions. I no longer see much of a difference between them. Martin Luther King, Jr., said he had a dream: a realizable, albeit distant, hope for a more just future. But isn’t that a vision, too? Both dreams and visions can be overpowering. Both can arise while we’re asleep, so that when we wake we know what we must do.
(P.S.: While it has nothing to do with this blog post, I can’t resist mentioning one of my favorite pieces of music about sleep [which won’t be part of Sunday’s service]: Thomas Morley, “O Sleep”.)