As I sit here, listening to the voices swirling in my head, I realize the need isn’t for more information. An enthralling podcast. A good sermon. An even better book. The most experienced of us out there know those things can only take us so far. No, what’s needed is vision. We’re like victims of a shipwreck, jumping from life raft to life raft, thinking this one has better supplies or more comforts. What we need is a ship. A ship with a destination. We treat so much of our Christian life like we’re simply getting by – each church service is like a cold drink on a hot day. But then the hours and days, months and years go by and that frosty Coke, even if it comes in a cool-looking retro glass bottle, isn’t enough. Jesus constantly talked about the kingdom and what it looked like. He asked people to pursue it with all their hearts. He knew where He was headed. Do we?
A lot of us are tired of denominational squabbles, and we should be, scripture makes as much plain. But could it be there’s something to it, despite the disparagements and divisions? I’m not talking about a movement. I’ve grown to hate that word. A “movement” is a counterfeit vision. Something that plays on ill-informed biases and loyalties. It transcends for about 2.2 and then the emotions fade and your left with, what? Policy? Yuck. Nostalgia? Even worse. People don’t realize it, but I think we treat sermon series in this way. Or small group curriculums written by our best gurus. Those things aren’t bad, but what are they aiming at? Is there something bigger? Something that we live instead of digest and then…? You get the idea.
I guess what this amounts to is a plea to God – help me out here. I don’t live on dry land. My shipmates and I are out to sea, shipwrecked, floating amongst the jetsam of denominations and movements. We need a ship with a Vision. Destination: Kingdom of God. I’m thinking of becoming a shipbuilder. But I need some help. Can’t do this one alone…
As a side note – perhaps to continue with the theme: I’m putting up a flare. Hopefully the light will expose some dangers in the water, or help others see where we really are. Better yet – can I offer some food to stave off the delirium? Nothing is more counter-productive to the kind of vision I’m talking about than bad eschatology. You know, the kind that finds itself on the big screen. Nothing says, “I love you” more than “Man, can’t wait to leave my clothes behind while the rest of you perish in flames!” If people see we have nothing more to aspire to other than disappearing then the world may in fact call us out on cheap magic tricks and some cool fireworks at the end of the show. We need to convince the world that the offer is life in Jesus Christ, not Nicholas Cage. All satire aside, this is where we must start.