Our garage has doubled as a large storage unit lately as we have been having floors refinished and walls and trim painted. It’s been like moving, only inside our own home.
Behind me stood the Risen Christ. Since he had so many different vineyards, he wasn’t standing inside any one vineyard. He was standing outside the gate of the vineyard, but was encouraging me and guiding me as I worked for renewal in the vineyard… I was encouraged as I saw signs of renewal in local congregations and in the denomination. At other times I was discouraged in the face of many indicators of congregational and denominational decline… The Risen Christ was behind me. I was looking out across the vineyard longing to see it renewed. And then I did something I had never done before. I turned around, so that instead of looking at the vineyard, I found myself looking at the Risen Christ. But instead of facing me as I thought he would be, he was turned around so that he had his back to me. And do you know what he was looking at? He was looking at the world that out beyond him. That’s what he seemed most concerned about – not the renewal of my vineyard or any of the other vineyards, for that matter, but for the redemption (the reclaiming, rescue, repossession, saving) of the world. Then it struck me – that if the redemption of the world is what he is most concerned about – it ought to be what I am most concerned about too….