Without a _____, the people perish

Without a _____, the people perish

My deep formation as a child included the resounding word from pulpits, parents and teachers:
Without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).

I was captivated.
And still am today.

That word reverberated through my prayer this morning.

The word doesn’t say:

  • Without convincing percentages on our side of the denominational survey, the people will perish.
  • Without ramped up anxiety by enough leaders, pastors, executives, the people will perish.
  • Without splitting off from imperfect, disagreeable folks, the people will perish.
  • Without getting our theology and practice on sexuality figured out, the people will perish.
  • Without a Kansas City outcome that pleases a majority of delegates, the people will perish.
  • Without star theologians who make us proud of our peace theology, the people will perish.

In whatever hallowed hall I heard it preached, the word that both transported and shook me to the core was: Without a vision the people will perish.

How I long for Jesus’ vision to transport and shake us all to the core:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, because he has anointed us to …
Bring good news to the poor
Proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind,
Let the oppressed go free,
Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

I decry the deviltry that has us locked up, paralyzed, wringing our hands with worry and fear.

I decry that we’ve become so hyper- vigilant, thinking that if we don’t manage to keep the world at bay, we’ll be swamped by the culture.

I decry the push and shove impulses to micro-manage who is in and who is out of the body of Christ.

Who do we think we are, for Christ’s sake!?

Our “grace” muscles in this boundaried, righteous, ethically keen Mennonite church are seriously underdeveloped. Mennonites in my experience know little about grace other than that it’s costly. We hardly know how to receive it and we dole it out begrudgingly. We have a lot to learn!

“My grace is sufficient…
My grace is sufficient…
My grace is sufficient…
for power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9).

May we all, together, be surprised anew at the sufficiency of God’s amazing grace.
And may we together be transported by the vision that inspired Jesus, full of grace and truth:

The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me to …
Bring good news to the poor
Proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind,
Let the oppressed go free,
Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

We currently are experiencing a problem with submission of comments on this blog. We value your comments and are working with our website host to solve the problem as quickly as we can. Please return to this post in a day or two and try again to share your thoughts. Thank you for your patience.