This year. It’s already got a name: 2020, the “twenty/twenty year”. Makes me think of 20/20 vision – a term that has something to do with “clarity.” Sound good?
Like many of you, I guess, I make an appointment and visit the eye doctor, at least every two years. As we age, this routine check-in and check-up becomes even more important. Because our eyes change as we age. Not to mention the rest of our bodies. I’ve heard of the term 20/20 vision for a long time – like that is the ideal, the goal for optimal sight. The equipment the eye doctor uses to check our vision (long range, short range and peripheral) is weird, maybe even looks “other-worldly.” But the doctor’s goal is to achieve a prescription for us that will help us see better so we can more optimally negotiate our world. We leave with a slip of paper that offers what is needed to help us achieve the best sight possible to live and move through the present and next stages of life.
Now I am not promoting that anybody/everybody out there immediately make an appointment with their eye doctor. However, as you may be anticipating I’m fascinated with this theme of a vision check in and check up for a body we all share together, the church. St. Paul writes more than anyone else in the New Testament about “church” as a body. His continual focus is the body of the fledgling little organizations we know as the early churches of the Christian era. He recognizes that the church body is made up of individual parts, each part to be accorded dignity and respect and having purpose (even diverse functions) that when working together can become a healthy whole. A core truth that Paul seems to recognize is that the parts working together can live, move and have being, more abundantly, together than alone. Of course, reading his letters (Epistles) to these various churches, we see that such bodies function variously along the “health” continuum.
Seems to be the reality of being human, as individuals or as a family, tribe, or group of any size trying to live and work with others in shared ways and purpose.
When we examine Paul’s organizational theories and experiences in the light of the Gospel (the “Good News”) messages of Jesus we can clearly see Christ’s particular focus on certain parts. Jesus offers in His living and teaching the vision of a Way leading to the greatest health and wholeness for Creation and for us as creatures within it. However, so many times Jesus cautions and challenges us to have “eyes to see” how that vision is to be “manifest” – be lived into and become real.
An interesting exercise would be to review all of Jesus' healing miracles. My guess is
that “sight” most likely would top the list. (I’ll put this on my “to do” list!)
Okay, you out there, as judge and jury (as I turn from medical and theological images to ones of advocacy), doesn’t the evidence
clearly promote a decision to schedule our churches for a Twenty/Twenty" year vision appointment? How about our planning and putting on our calendar some times for a
check-in and check-up for our churches’ (Farnham and St. John’s ) as we enter 2020 and look ahead to the future. It would be a time to examine, to look at and evaluate our short range, long range and peripheral vision, see what lenses we have been using may need to be up-dated, assess how closely in alignment is our vision in relation to the 20/20 vision of the “Way” we say we are committed to follow for optimum health, and then come up with a prescription for the best possible vision to live into that “Way.”
Don’t we all want to see better, for ourselves and for these special church “bodies” we belong to?
Let me know what you think of this idea and how such a vision time might look.