Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year vision!

Happy New Year to you all! Even though it can be said without much thought, it's still a greeting of goodwill. It's not just words; it's a way of reaching out to one another. So, for us at Lees Street church at the beginning of 2007, where will our hopes and goodwill lead us? In Proverbs 29, verse 18, in the old Authorised Version of the Bible, it says "where there is no vision, the people perish." Later, more accurate translations put it this way: "where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint." The idea is that, 'prophecy' - or the discernment of God's word, God's ways - encourages people to be 'restrained', to 'stay true' to their calling. The alternative is: without vision, without prophecy, without God's word, people become reckless - they head off 'doing their own thing'. Obviously, people disagree greatly about the implications of this - one person's restraint is another person's recklessness! - but still there's the crucial idea that, as people of faith, we're called to root what we do in the vision God offers to us ... a vision of happiness, yes, but more importantly a vision of compassion, justice, peace, healing and hope.