"See Clearly Now" Worship Series
The world is full of people with vision. Everyone from CEOs and personal trainers to tech leaders and bloggers promote visions and the concept of naming vision.
There is value in the concept. Vision is powerful. The root of the word “see” literally means to follow with the eyes. We follow after what we envision. Our life decisions fulfill the images of the future we see in our mind, and a poor vision of the future can have destructive consequences.
As followers of Jesus, though, our vision is different than what the world offers. Individual and corporate visions are easily misguided and too fragile to thrive unless connected to God’s grand vision for the world.
The Bible tells the story of God’s singular vision for humankind, which has lasted from Abraham to David to Jesus and will continue through to the end of all things as described in Revelation. It is a promise of the restoration of God’s creation and our place in it.
Our question as a church, as institutional and family leaders, and as individuals is, whose vision do you see? This is the only vision worth seeing, and in the end it alone will be fulfilled.
Vision Bigger Than Us
Week of January 21/22
Genesis 23:17-20; 1 Chronicles 22:5-10
Decades after God’s vision for Abraham’s future, Abraham still found himself an immigrant. Yet God had not abandoned him. The vision was still coming to pass. When Abraham acquires a small piece of land - for a burial plot, no less - he experiences a bit of grace and a glimpse of the future, and the realization that God’s work in our lives is much bigger than what one generation can accomplish.
Vision That Cannot Be Stopped
Week of January 28/29
Genesis 50:15-21; Genesis 48:11
Human brokenness can lead us to look to others rather than to God for a vision of our future. Jealous of the attention their father gave their brother, Joseph’s siblings sold him into slavery. But over the course of his life in Egypt, Joseph rose in influence and at a critical time of famine was able to save the lives of his family. In spite of suffering, God can redeem the events of our lives and produce not only good things but abundance beyond our imagining.
Vision Through Barriers
Week of February 4/5
God’s people stood on the edge of the long promised land. But the next step to fulfilling it was going to be challenging. Most of the leaders Moses sent to scout the area saw not a land of abundance but giants that blocked the way. But in faith and with enthusiasm, Caleb believed that the people were more than able to do the work necessary to make the vision a reality. In fulfilling the vision, there will be challenges, but God will equip you to do the work.
Vision Which Can Be Rejected
Week of February 11/12
As the people waited for an abundant future, their ability to see God’s vision waned, until they only saw the desert of their current lives. Their complaints increased and they began to long for the slavery of Egypt. As a result, they never saw the Promised Land. As we wait through desert periods, it can become tempting to look backward with misplaced nostalgia. Getting stuck in the past is destructive. Instead, have a different spirit like Caleb and lean on God’s promised future.
Vision To Help Others
Week of February 18/19
Joshua 1:6-9; Leviticus 19:17-18
Most of life is a journey to achieve God’s promised vision of the future. Yet in rare moments we may feel as if we have arrived - that we are in the land of milk and honey, we are in a beautiful place of abundance upon abundance, and that life doesn’t get any better. The question in our best times is - now that we have a glimpse of heaven, what are we going to do with it? With great abundance comes great responsibility. The world needs people that will use the gifts that God has given them to bless others. Living this out requires bravery and humility, and a single rule: to love God and to love neighbor as yourself.
Until There Is No More Need
Week of February 25/26
As children in God’s household, we experience the joy of God’s redemptive vision. But this is not the end of the story. God’s vision isn’t just for some, but for all humankind, and God has no intention of letting us sit around on the couch. The vision for Israel and the church is wrapped up in God’s final vision for the entire world. Our goal at St. Andrew is to bring about this vision. We are called to be agents of God’s vision, to create a world with no more pain or mourning, as we preach Christ and serve people, until there is no more need.