Thursday, January 18, 2007

Considering Vision

As we ponder what constitutes a divine vision, we ought to differentiate between the word "vision" as it used (and at times abused) by a broken world and as it used by the Church.

There are a multitude of books by business and political leaders which talk about "vision". Many leaders in these arenas of life refer to "vision". That's a good thing! We want our leaders to be looking toward the future...whether in politics, economics, sports, or other areas.

But "vision" when it comes to the Church is a bit different. When the Scriptures use the word, or more accurately when they use the Hebrew and Greek words we translate as "vision", it always refers to something from God...a special sight or glimpse into heaven (and often into the future), granted in order to further God's salvific work in this world. Vision, for the Church, is always always involves redemption, salvation, the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

This is why it can be a mite dangerous to glean too much from the many books on "vision" written by politicians and business leaders...we run the risk of looking too much like the world we are trying to redeem and transform!

(Zechariah's vision in Luke 1, the Transfiguration in Matthew 17, the experience of the women in Luke 24, the Pentecostal outpouring in Acts 2, the apocalyptic horsemen in Revelation 9...all of these and other examples refer to "vision", and all pointed in some way to the salvation story.)

So, as we consider "vision", and what God's vision might be for us, it is essential that we keep in mind that God's vision...if indeed it be from God...will involve salvation - salvation not only for us but for our neighbors, for our city, for the world. Truly, that can be a vision which potentially is boundless and excitingly big! This is the hope for which we must be in prayer.

No comments: