May 20, 2019 A Dream of Change and a Call to Walk into It.

I have been thinking all week about dreams. Not the kind of dreams where you wake up shaking in the middle of the night cold with sweat and terror. In fact, not the kind of dreams that are had while you are asleep. But dreams that happen in the daytime.

Dreams of hope.

Dreams of change.

Dreams that change things.

I suppose that part of the reason dreams have been so much on my mind has to do with today. Day School Sunday. Day School Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays of the year, partly because Christ Church Day School started as a dream over 61 years ago.

More than 61 years ago, the people who sat in these pews, the people who were sitting exactly where you are sitting now, had a bold, audacious dream. They dreamed of a school, a school where children could come to be nurtured, to grow in knowledge and in character, to feel the power of being seen and being loved as precious children of God, and as part of this community.

That is a really big dream.

I would wager that some of the first people who had that dream, thought it was just that, a dream. The steps necessary to make it a reality would have been overwhelming. The funds, the plans, the permits, the need to work together with people who may or may not have the exact same vision that you do. 

If that dream was to become more than a delightful musing, someone would have to take a step. As I have considered this, I keep coming back to this thought.

Dreams always stay dreams, if we don’t walk into them.

Who was the brave soul who said, “Okay, here is the first step, and I will take it.” We heard Jesus call us to this work in today’s Gospel.

“My dear, dear friends, I will only be here with you a little longer. You will miss me, but as I have said before, I’m going where you can’t come. Here is your assignment: Love each other. Just as I love you, love each other that way. People will be able to tell you are my followers if they can see that you love each other.”

Just as I have loved you.


Just, as a qualifier, has always rubbed me a bit wrong. I’ll have just a little piece. They are just a friend. She’s just a girl. It’s just a dream.

But this just is so different than the just that diminishes and calls things less than. This just is a call to equality.

Right before this passage Judas has left to betray Jesus, and right before that we have John’s telling of the foot washing at the Last Supper. Jesus washing his disciples’ feet was a tender act of service and love. Love that turned everything on its head.

Servants washed feet, not masters. This act was uncomfortable, beneath Jesus. In this one act, Jesus calls into question the status of above and beneath, the difference between servant and friend, what it means to be clean and what it means to be unclean.

“Just as I have loved you.”


Just a call to action.

Loving each other as Jesus has loved us is more than a simple platitude. Over and over again we saw Jesus’ willingness to cross boundaries, to humanize the other, to afford dignity to those who felt less than, unseen.

“Just as I have loved you.”

Not only a dream of change, but a call to walk into it.

As Peter tells of his vision, his ‘dream’ in Acts, we hear of strangers at the door; strangers who were different than him. Strangers who call him out of his house, out of his place of comfort, and to come with them. As Peter shares the Good News of God in Jesus with them he sees the Holy Spirit poured out on them.

Just as it had been poured out on the disciples.

“Then I thought, well if God gave them the Holy Spirit just like God gave us the Holy Spirit, who am I to keep them out of the circle of believers?”

 At the day school we focus on a different virtue every month. This month, it is the virtue of generosity. The very first month it is the virtue of belonging. As part of that conversation of what it means to belong, we talk about our own gifts, what we have, what we need, what we can share.

We also talk about the need to watch out for the person who is left out, who is having a hard day, or struggling to fit in. The need to reach out side of our place of comfort and invite someone else into the circle.

“Just as I have loved you” puts us in that uncomfortable place of taking our words and putting them into action. It means providing dignity, leveling the playing field, building bridges of love in our hearts, in our community, and beyond the areas where we are comfortable.

It means being the person who not only sees the dream, but takes the steps.

“Just as I have loved you.”


5/20/2019 - Easter 5 Year C  -  Christ Church Day School Sunday - Charlette Preslar, Christ Church Day School Chaplain