The account of Ruth we are studying together in our current sermon series takes place in the times of the Judges. That time is described by the author who recorded its history identically in two places, Judges 17:6 and 21:25. He said…
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
This certainly speaks of a lack of restraint and accountability; but I think it is also indicative of a loss of direction or what is commonly referred to in out day as “vision”. Individuals and organizations of people function best when they have a clear direction and clear expectations. The times of the Judges reflected this vacuum with chaotic moral failures, brutal treatment of vulnerable people, and callous disregard for life.
A well known phrase from Proverbs puts it bluntly…
Where there is no vision, the people perish—Proverbs 2:18a (KJV)
Thanks to Jesus any church can have a very clear vision. He prioritized things for us giving us the great command—love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)); and the great commission—“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19,20 (ESV)). He gave us clear expectations and guidelines to follow. He also gave us His example of compassion, mercy, sacrifice and faithfulness to the Father.
We have incorporated these commands and examples as we adopted a vision for CrossRoads over the past 2-3 years. It is a vision that inspires me and guides me. I hope you find it inspiring too! Our vision is…
CrossRoads: a place of joy, discovery, hope and healing where God is writing His story of transforming grace on the hearts of people, and through them, on our community and the world.
This is at once a God-centered and a people influencing vision. We join with God’s passion for bringing His life-transforming love and truth to people. We come alongside people as they experience their best days and their hardest days. We intentionally engage with our local community to assess and pursue opportunities to make a positive difference. We extend our influence as God inspires us to make a difference in other cultures.
It is impossible for this vision to be fulfilled simply in our gatherings on Sunday morning. Certainly, our fellowship, praise and publically proclaiming God’s word are important elements of the vision; but the influence of the church vision is felt “inside out” during the time we spend in our homes, workplaces and neighborhoods during our time “outside” of the weekend gatherings.
If you consider CrossRoads your church home; whether or not you are an official “member”; I want to challenge you to join individually in pursuing our church vision. Regularly remind yourself of what we are pursuing. Be a person who brings joy to the settings of your life. Keep discovering truth about God, yourself, the people around you and God’s guidelines for life. Be a source of hope to others by pointing them to the ultimate hope we have in Christ. Pray for healing for any who are wounded—physically, emotionally or relationally. Submit your heart to the ongoing transforming work of God’s grace, growing in areas of weakness. Look for ways to be a source of blessing in the community and as part of our global engagement.
How is your vision? 20/20?