He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night.’ Job 26:10
The horizon has always been a captivating sight, a seemingly never-ending point both in space and time. A place that on the one hand symbolises the distance and awesomeness of God, whilst on the other hand can also remind the onlooker of the intimacy of God. As we look upon the awe inspiring sight of the heavens touching the earth we can also imagine how God’s life is touching ours, either through the story of Jesus, or through the power of the Spirit, or even through one another. It’s a strange and wonderful feeling, and of course here in Cornwall we are often blessed with many coastal scenes like the one pictured above.
Setting a new vision for the church can feel a bit like looking out toward a horizon. In search of what the future will hold. In wonder of what God might have in store.
A while ago I was given a telescope to look up at the heavens. Suddenly I was gifted with an amazing new perspective of our night sky. As I looked upon the planets and the stars with a new clarity, and in particular upon our own moon, I realised something quite important. Do not look at a full moon through a telescope! It is not only hurts your eyes, but you don’t actually see much anyway, the sun’s light bouncing off the moon is so strong that it washes everything out. I soon learnt that the best time to look is when there’s a crescent or half-moon. Through a telescope you get an amazing view of where the light side of the moon touches the dark side of the moon. The edge of the light is called the ‘terminator’ and the clarity is breath-taking.
You can see every bit of detail– the mountains, the valleys, the peaks and craters; they are all clearly visible along the line where the light meets the dark. It is simply stunning.
One of the big questions for us as we set the new vision of the church is ‘where is God calling us?’ Well maybe God is calling us to a place like the one I see through my telescope!
What I mean is this: maybe God is calling us to be in a place where the light touches the dark. The place where things are clearer. A place where the brightness of the Son touches the darkness of the earth, the threshold of the kingdom where the pain of the world is touched by the healing light of our God, where hurt and anguish are calmed by the Morning Star; in other words, where heaven touches earth.
Isn’t it true that Jesus spent most of his time with those in darkness: the outcasts, the lost, the hated and despised? Jesus was, and is, the threshold where darkness turns to light, where things are seen with clarity and detail. So I hope that as we continue to discern God’s vision for All Saints we might consider our calling to the lost corners of our world, and to the shadows of our existence. Please pray for a clarity of vision and a consensus of opinion as we seek God’s will and seek to follow his Son to the place where his great and beautiful light shines bright into the darkness of our world.
A collection of thoughts and reflections from the people of All Saints.