The Villager Voice ~ from Alan

First, Happy New Year to you all!  I wish you a year of blessings, as well as a year of being a blessing to others.

Knowing I’m not the first one to think of this, I nevertheless find myself thinking of 2020 as a year of vision.  As an election year, it will surely be a year of consequence whatever the outcome.  And as a church, I wonder what kind of vision we will bring to the conversation?  Will 2020 be a year of hindsight, when we find ourselves longing for the way things used to be?  Will we want to turn back the clock in the yearning for a gentler time?  In these fraught days, the past sure does seem like a safe place to live.  Or will 2020 be a year of foresight, when we assess the possibilities open to us as children of God (as the baptismal litany asserts) and walk faithfully into them?  What will these possibilities even look like?  I don’t have any answers to this right now, but I suspect that God will not only lead us into our future, but will also be waiting there for us when we find it.

Maybe one of the better prescriptions for 2020’s vision can be found in the Old Testament prophecy of Habakkuk.  These words are from the second chapter:

Write the vision;

   make it plain on tablets,

   so that a runner may read it.

For there is still a vision for the appointed time;

   it speaks of the end, and does not lie.

If it seems to tarry, wait for it;

   it will surely come, it will not delay.

Look at the proud!

   Their spirit is not right in them,

   but the righteous live by their faith.

I like the phrase, “Write the vision... so that a runner may read it.”  It’s like a divine billboard that you can read while speeding by it at 65 mph.  (Because of course you are obeying the speed limit.)  It suggests a certain clarity.  Let the vision be so clear that even someone who isn’t inclined to pay attention will notice the message.  Perhaps that vision will be a combination of hindsight and foresight - and I think any vision or idea worth its salt needs to do a bit of both.  But I hope and pray that our vision - as individuals and as a community of faith - possesses the clarity that Habakkuk describes, and that it will be true to the mission and ministry to which God calls us all.

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