Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk on change. Barack Obama built a whole campaign upon it. Brilliant minds like Malcolm Gladwell explain why things are happening in society. As well, people like Daniel Pink explain why there is a vast sociological switch in the way people are thinking. We’re moving out of this analytical left brain thinking into the creative right brain thinking. Harvey Cox wrote The Future of Faith, Phyllis Tickle The Great Emergence, Brian McLaren A New Kind of Christianity, all to describe the great religious and spiritual transition we find ourselves in.
Sometimes, life is moving to fast for us. To much is changing and we can’t keep up: Within the last 6 months, we have seen Gas rise $1.25. We have seen a country endure a tsunami and an earthquake. We are still in war, then trying to pull out of it, now potentially engaging in a new one. Sometimes, life is to moving to fast for us, that we don’t know how to grasp it, understand it, and, deal with it. This is the reality we find ourselves in.
Jesus taught very little on prayer in the Bible, and, when he did, he hardly ever taught us to pray with words. One of the only times we see this, he tells his disciples to pray like this: Our father in heaven, holy is your name, your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. When we pray like this, we are praying for a new reality. A reality that is present, but, it isn’t quite present. A future colliding with our life here and now.
What we believe about the future is immensely important. If we believe the world is doomed, and, that God is going to let it rot, so he can destroy it. Then, our best hope, is to hide in our basements and watch re-runs of Boy Meets World, while the rest of the world kills itself off. But, if we believe that God actually cares about the thing he created, and, Jesus actually wanted those realities to collide then we better start dreaming some better dreams.
God’s dream for mankind was to redeem it. He started this with a guy named Abraham, in which he wanted to create a human race that would constantly be blessing each other because God blessed them. When this couldn’t happen, the world needed Jesus to show us the way. We needed God to come be one of us, so we could learn how to live, love and forgive like he does. Jesus came to pain a new reality for us.
Our believed reality for the future is important, because it is what we incarnate today. This is what made Jesus so extraordinary. He was able to pull the best future forward into the present. What we become, is a product of who we are already. And, who we are, is a product of who were. This is why we need a better vision and dream. So that it may collide with who we are today. Without this, we become a people who are absent of vitality and life. This is why we hold to the promises of God, so what will be, may begin to incarnate us.
As we continue to wrestle with the rapid change before us, my hope is that we begin by desiring a dream that is far more beautiful and life-giving, rather than making compromises just to ease what appears dim today.
“If it is hope that maintains and upholds faith and keeps it moving on, if it is hope that draws the believer into the life of love, then it will also be hope that is the mobilizing and driving force of faith’s thinking, of its knowledge of, and reflections on, human nature, history and society.”-Jurgen Moltmann