For the next three Sundays, I will be sharing with you some thoughts on the importance of vision in the Christian life.

In any field, the most outstanding inventions, discoveries, and accomplishments began in someone’s mind’s eye. Until a vision sprang up of a new way to solve a problem, meet a need, or advance a cause, no one could move forward.

The same is true in our lives as individuals and as a congregation. Without a vision of positive change and growth, we will get stuck right where we are. It will be impossible for us to grow beyond our wounds or find creative solutions for our most intimidating challenges.

One of these challenges is our tendency to live with 20/20 hindsight. Moses had to confront this tendency in the Israelites when they kept wanting to go back to Egypt instead of progressing toward the promised land.

How very human of them! We all do this, because the past tends to look idyllic when compared to our current conflicts, discouragements, and losses. The question is, How can we keep moving forward? How can we prevent ourselves from being immobilized in the face of the giants in the land, as the Israelites did?

The answers begin with renewing our vision. The Bible tells us repeatedly that God wants to take us to a brighter future, but in order to get there, we have to learn more about what that future entails. The eyes of our hearts have to be trained so that they can see this hopeful future more clearly. In the process, we begin to trust that God is guiding us toward that future. It happens in ways that are often mysterious, but also powerful and filled with grace. That’s where vision comes in. Without it, we can’t discern either where we are going or how God is leading us.

There is so much in this subject that applies directly to each of us and to the Community Church of Providence. I hope you will commit yourself to being present for the next three Sundays as we seek the answers together.

With love and anticipation,

Evan Howard,