Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” of the bulletin for this Sunday, May 26, 2019 (6th Sunday of Easter, Year C) at Fishkill United Methodist Church.
The theme of the Scriptures today, it seems to me, is one of vision. With these readings, we are reminded of what is written in Proverbs, “if we are without vision, we shall perish”
Some years ago, I came across a quote from Joel A. Barker,
Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action changes the world.
Paralleling that was quote by Willie Nelson,
“one person cannot change the world but one person with a message can.”
Neither Luther nor Wesley sought to create a new expression of faith; theirs was vision of how to best express one’s faith. Wesley had a “method” for implementing that vision.
There are those today who say they have a plan for the church, but it is a plan without a vision, one beset by rules and regulations, one without concern for the people of the church and the people who seek the church. In their plan, if you don’t meet the qualifications as set by the rules they have made, you are not eligible to be a part of the faith.
This attitude, I feel, is the same attitude religious authorities two thousand years ago voiced. It was the same attitude voiced by their Wesleyan era counterparts. As a plan based on rules and regulations, it was stiff and formal, with no room to be creative and no room for those outside society. It was a plan created without love and without a vision for the future.
A sightless world is a limited one, one in which fear and ignorance dominate,
What Jesus did was change the vision of the world, to see a new future. Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we can put that vision into action.