Habakkuk 1: 1-4; 2: 1-3
Today’s passage, the poet from the prophet Habakkuk, still seems very reliable. The passage uses the term “violence” twice to characterize a failed neighborly society--—the times people were caught by anxiety, institutions were failing, and people took matters into their own hands and turned against their neighbors. And today’s passage could be our poem as well--the level of rage, the tone of anxiety, the deep fear, the thirst for vengeance is all right here.
So, what to do? What do we have to do? Hunker down or build up an arsenal for more weapons, privatize and withdraw from the public, private schools, private security systems, not to share, not to risk, and not to be exposed—is it the only option we have?
The prophet Habakkuk offers an alternative image in chapter 2, in verses 1-3, “Write a vision and make it plain upon a tablet…If it delays, wait for it, for it is surely coming; it will not be late.” This is the moment when our calling starts as a church. Our calling is always in the business of vision—to watch for the vision, to wait for the vision, and to receive the vision in faith, even the moment we are mostly not available to see that vision.
My question and challenge for all of us are—What is our vision? And do we still dream dreams of who we are and who we are called to be as a Christian and a church?
I have a dream of a church that is a welcoming and loving community—where all people—no matter who—are accepted, welcomed, served, cared for, and loved; where all people can know and learn from each other on a deeper level, not a surface level; forbearing one another, forgiving one another, and sometimes bearing one another’s burdens, which offers friendship to the lonely and isolated, support to the week and the needy.
I have a dream of a church that is a journeying community—where all people never settle down in material affluence and comfort, knowing that we are pilgrims on earth by walking alongside strangers; where all people keep the flame of hope, joy, peace, and love rather than hate, violence, and judgment; where all people honor differences in order to seek and stand on the same and common ground, which is Jesus Christ.
I have a dream of a church that is a prophetic community—where all people can see and value things differently; even it seems to go against the way of the world, where all people dream dreams of what a church can be and should be, not what a church used to be; where all people can see dry-bones-like-world-and-people as the people of God; where all can prophesy God’s vision and work over our broken world, not only dream dreams but also practice and take action in our dreams, even if it seems a tiny step.
Our calling is not simply to envision those things. Our calling is not just to say nice statements.
Rather, our calling is to act, to embody the vision and dream as we are grounded in the faith of God, who only makes our dreams and visions come true.
Thanks be to God.