Hopes and Dreams
In the new calendar year, I like to talk about calling and the dreams we have about who we could be. (Resolutions seem to come from guilt or induce guilt, which is why I like the creativity of dreams). We just moved past the season of Christmas - the fulfillment of Israel's prophetic hopes and dreams. And now we are in the season of Epiphany where we ask, "How is Jesus made known to us today?" Here are the hopes and dreams I gave on our first Sunday in 2018:
You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
I have been caught up in the visionary picture that is around here, of the lighthouse.
And I want to join that dream: that we might be a beacon of the light that has lived among us, that we might let our light shine and people can see what we are doing and glorify our Father in Heaven.
I am going to use this metaphor to say, I believe we are called to set the beacons.
We are the ones God has appointed to live in this time and this place –
A time and a place that is seeing both the best and the worst of humanity.
And it is the church that has the words of life.
It is the church that has collective wisdom,
It is the church that knows the love the world is craving.
It is the church that receives guidance from an inner light,
And so it is the church, I believe, that is called to venture into hazardous waters,
With a stout hull and courageous crew – each one capable of guiding this ship.
All for the purpose of setting the beacons, showing the rest of the community and the world, “Come this way.” (“Follow me” was Jesus’ favourite invitation).
I dream we become known for Sparking and fanning a flame, encouraging a life of Spirituality, listening and knowing God as the one who loves perfectly & leads perfectly.
I dream we become known as people serious about following Jesus.
I dream we are known as people who forgive, people who accept grace, and people who take reconciliation seriously. A people who find Jesus is the answer for racial, social, and economic divides. And a people who every time we think we are right, submit to Jesus and one another.
I dream that it becomes said of us, as people drive by this little corner building, “now that’s a group that works out its problems, and I think it has something to do with Jesus.”
What if people would rather come to us to settle their disputes instead of the courts or social media? I can only imagine a setting where the final solution is a handshake or embrace, instead of greater antagonism.
What if it started with us?
What if we submitted our disputes and age-old grievances instead of settling them?
(I say submit, because I think settling disputes is mediocrity, and our end goal is love and understanding).
I dream that Kaleden Community Church is leading the way in what God wants to do in this world, where we live with the hope that all things are being reconciled. And that the sign this is happening will be listening to God and listening to one another.
I dream of a place where nothing is scary and so no topic is off limits.
We are drowning in a world of mental health problems, but no one wants to say it.
Let’s get baptized in the waters of Jesus before our lungs are filled, so that we can sing out words like:
Depression, Addiction, Bi-Polar, and I hate my life right now.
Let’s name them, talk about them, and move on from them, because these things don’t define us. God calls you “Beloved,” and that’s the only name that matters.
From what I hear, the life boats are already overcrowded with those who cannot make it anymore. And believe it or not, some people are turning to the church, wondering if we have anything to offer. I dream the church is a place that not only says, “I will pray for you,” but also, “I will walk with you.”
And I dream this place is a place of worship.
Not because it ought or should,
But because there is nothing else better,
Because the waters of life that get you through your week are here,
Because the waters that heal the nations are flowing out our doors.
Jesus said, “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl.”
Or as the children like to sing, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”
So let’s build the lighthouse,
trim the wick,
and polish the glass.