Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Dream Church

Today, while teaching my class on Joshua, I read a perfect description of my Dream Church. Here it is; it's in the middle of a river, it is the holiest thing imaginable (the holy of holies), it is being upheld by great priests - the greatest - priests of the Word and Sacrament, it's location is just west of the wilderness of sin and lostness, and it is just east of the promised land itself (East of Eden)....

No, I'm not drinking too much single malt at the moment, bear me out...

"Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan, until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua." (Joshua 4:10).

Can you picture the image from the book of Joshua? The priests of Israel (whatever that meant exactly in the year 1,400BC) carried the ark of the covenant (the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai). The people had been in the wilderness for at least forty years - Moses, their leader, God bless him, actually died there. God tells the priests, who are carrying the ark, to stand in the middle of the river, while the Israelites walk across. God protects the people who are crossing (Crossing Jordan) by stopping the river up on both sides. Behind them is the wilderness, ahead of them is the promised land, a river of people, ideas, clans, commerce, travelers, and sojourners are passing by.

That's it. That's my Dream Church. The church, of course, is the ark of the covenant. the church is the holy of holies. Nothing less will do. The ark carries within it the holiest Word/Law God has ever dispensed. Years later, Jesus would expound upon the law and make it more understandable, but not any easier. I want to be one of the priests upholding the holy of holies. I want to be in a place where thousands (some historians have said, 1,000,000 Jews crossed over that river the Jordan in 1,400 BC) of people pass by every day. I want to be near enough to the wilderness (an area of true sin and depredation), so that I am constantly connecting with truly "dechurched" and broken people. I want to also have the promised land in clear sight. The Promised Land as the Israelites experienced it was not always easy, but it was always sure, and good. I want to uphold the law, and the gospel in the midst of the chaos and turmoil of the world today.

The church is a part of the current, and yet it is separated from it. It is right in the middle of people, currents of thought, where we have come from, and where we are going, the wilderness from which we have been saved and paradise to which we shall return. Most of all, I want to be living out the call of ...Crossing Jordan...

All for Now,


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