This is the text of my newsletter ,message for the January 2020 pewsheet at KSSM. I was on leave for all of January so this is all the people heard from me.
All over the Twitface these past few weeks the pastors‘ networks which I follow have been abuzz with jokes around 20/20 vision, and local leaders‘ vision for their churches in 2020AD. As someone who has worn glasses for shortsightedness since age 6, and now has a pair of old-man glasses for reading, I‘ve never had 20/20 or 6/6 vision in either eye. But that hasn‘t stopped me learning to read, and then reading to learn, and every week I write around 1750 words of sermon after several hours of Bible and commentary study, mixed with a fair bit of imagination. The reason I can read without clear vision is of course because of my old-man glasses.
What is our vision for 2020 as the Kaniva and Serviceton Shared Ministry? The question we might ask is what can we see (since vision is about sight, not hope), and how is what we are seeing affected by what we are looking through. I continue to ask what God is saying to the West vWimmera and to the churches of Kaniva and Serviceton; today as I write this (wearing my old-man glasses) I‘m interested by what we see locally and how we think God sees it. Do we wear lenses supplied by God? Do we see what God sees and do we see how God sees: that the slave is our brother as the old hymn goes.
My prayer for us all for January is that we wil take a month of rest after Christmas and harvest and school and whatever else, and take time to refocus our eyes on the year ahead. Lift your heads Church, look up from the books and adjust your focus to look at the horizon: what can you see in the distance. And if you do that, come find me in February and tell me what you saw, and how you feel about that.