A Shared Vision

As I write this I’ve not yet heard the result of the Scotland vote, but one thing’s for sure, whichever way the vote goes - nothing is ever going to be the same again.

The Scottish referendum has let a genie out of the bottle and the United Kingdom is going to be forever changed. As Scotland acquires, either independence, or many more devolved powers (depending on the vote), no doubt Wales, Northern Ireland and perhaps even other regions will be lining up for their turn.

 Whether or not this is a good thing is a moot point. Keeping loosely associated tribes together pursuing one single dream is always a far more difficult objective than giving in to partisan nationalism. The benefits of unity can be considerable, but spread over too wide a province it can also lose any sense of togetherness and shared vision. Perhaps the pragmatist will conclude that the UK has just too many disparate clans to be fully unified.

What is true of nations at a macro level is also true of churches at the micro level. Proverbs 29:18 famously says: Where there is no vision,the people perish” (KJV). However unfortunately it is not a very good translation and the NIV renders it Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint” which sounds far less inspiring, but may convey a deeper truth. Whichever translation is better, the principle is the same; when we as a community don’t hear from God we start to lose the plot. One of my tasks at the moment is sufficiently to impart vision to St Barnabas that we can all buy in to the same dream of the future – a future that we believe God is calling us to. That is not merely an objective; it is a necessity. 

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