An old Chinese Proverb says: “If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.” What does that have to do with Our Savior Lutheran Church – one word: ‘Vision’. Charles Swindoll said ‘Vision encompasses vast vistas outside the realm of the predictable, the safe, the expected.’ Proverbs 29 says ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish…’ A ‘vision’ is forward-looking; it calls us to the future. There is another saying: regret looks back; worry looks around, and faith looks up. Without faith and hope, there can be no vision.
(From a sermon, The Risk Taking Church by Stephen Sheane) ‘There are only 3 kinds of churches. There is the under-taking church. The undertaking church is one that is always looking backwards. All that people ever talk about are the “good old days”. Franklin Field said ‘Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds.’ Then there is the care-taking church. It seems to always be in maintenance mode, just trying to keep it’s head above the water. The number one questions is always “do we have the money now to support this”? Finally, there is the risk-taking church. The risk taking church is always looking forward. They believe that the best is yet to come. They invest all they have today so that they can be all that God wants them to be tomorrow. A blind man’s world is bounded by the limits of his touch; an ignorant man’s world by the limits of his knowledge; a great man’s world by the limits of his vision.’
Lord, we do not want to be under-takers; or care-takers of Your Church on earth. We do not want to be limited by our regret, or our worry, but, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, may we boldly, by faith, be risk-takers, empowered to bring a message of hope, healing and new life to our congregation, our community and the world around us, In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen. A vision without a task is a dream; a task without a vision is drudgery; a vision and a task is the hope of the world. Let us continue to be a church where God is seen, love is felt and lives are changed!