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God as Dreamer

Movement: The Beginning of the Journey  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God as Dreamer

So far we have talked about God as love, where love is that which gives life meaning and purpose. We talked about God as light, light is what allows us to see and scrutinize the details of all that is happening in our world. We don’t see into the light, we see because the light overcomes the darkness. Last week we talked about God is the spirit that calls us forward into new life. One important idea or thread from this is God initiates life, God initiates love, God initiates light, the call to be a part of what God is doing in the world are all initiated by God. The world was called into existence, however it happened, and whenever it happened because an intelligent being initiated creation and is still creating. We are not a finished product. The world we know is created with goodness to be fostered, and that happens through movements.
I want to take a little time and look at a couple movements. First, Abraham. Abraham as we read in heard the Lord speak to him to leave Ur of the Chaldeans.
Genesis 12:1–3 CEB
The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of the earth will be blessed because of you.”
Genesis 12:1-
So, what is happening here? To understand more fully it helps to have an idea of the thoughts of that age. Now I am getting this information from people who have studied , not only the Bible but ancient cultures as well. In his book What is the Bible? Rob Bell explains that the people of that time believed history to be cyclical. That is that everything that has happened will happen again.
“They believed that you’re born into a cycle of events and you’ll die in that same cycle of events as the cycle endlessly repeats itself.”
What happened to your ancestors will happen to you, then it will happen to your children as your family goes around in this endless cycle. In this story Abraham, called by God, steps out of the cycle and into a new future. One that has not happened before. This is a new idea. Can you hear the echo of the folks around them, we have never done it that way before.
The God that gives us life, meaning, purpose, light, direction, that calls us forward through love, which is God’s nature, is doing something new. That something new is creating what we would call today a movement.

Does God have a Dream?

Have you ever wondered what God’s dream for the world is? I believe God’s dream to be for all of humanity to experience life to its fullest. This dream goes beyond our current place of physical residency to influence the whole world. Though we get stuck in a seemingly endless cycle that repeats over and over and over again.
God calls people to head off in new directions, which lets be honest, that is pretty scary, isn’t it? Head out Abraham into the unknown. Break the cycle. If you read the previous six chapters of Genesis, the Flood story, Noah, the tower of Babel, it is a picture of humanity seeking what seemed like life, but only brought death and frustration, anger and jealousy, momentary satisfaction. Doesn’t sound that much different than the world we are living in now, does it?
Along the way as we read the Bible, reading through the stories we enter into a journey. A journey that looks far different from our lives today, yet there rings some stark truths that reveal to us that we too are like them. In the midst of the joys and struggles of everyday life we see glimpses of movements.
Moses leading the people out of Egypt. Joshua leading people into the promised land. David bringing the whole kingdom together in unity. The prophets calling the people back to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To a way of living that is ever moving into new territory.
We can read through the book of Acts, which is the story of the church getting itself going, though they started a bit slow.
Acts 1:7–8 CEB
Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority.” Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The first seven chapters of Acts we find out they are still in Jerusalem. In chapter eight they begin spreading out because of Paul and the murderous threats, chapter nine Paul is called into the movement by a light no one else saw and a voice none of the other understood, but Paul becomes the Apostle to the gentiles. Eventually ending up in Rome, which at that time was the ends of the earth as far as they were concerned.

God’s Still Dreaming!!

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In the fourth century there were councils, of particular interest was the Council of Nicene, where we Nicene Creed from. It was also the time when the Bible as we know it today was set with sixty six books, thirty-nine in the old testament and twenty-seven in the new.
In the 16th century, a German monk named Martin Luther started a movement that became known as the protestant reformation
In the eighteenth century a short man started some societies, little gatherings of people, rich and poor together to seek out what it means to be fully alive in Christ. It would take a long time to go through all of the things in life we often enjoy which had their roots in this movement called Methodism. That’s right, a movement. There is likely no way to truly know all this movement influenced. John Wesley was a radical thinker and dreamer of his day. He challenged business owners to pay fair wages and not hold back more than they needed to live on. He challenged them to expand their businesses so they could hire more people at a time when many business owners were cutting jobs.
Slavery was becoming unpopular with the likes of William Wilberforce, a Methodist, worked undeniably hard to make it illegal, eventually winning the battle. So when Slaves weren’t slaves anymore, they needed to make a living too.

Do we need a movement today?

Is there any question about the need for a new movement, a movement not to go back to the way it was, but a movement forward. A movement that brings equality and life back to the human race. A movement that not only tells people that God loves them, but a movement that restores the body of Christ back to life in new ways.
I would say it is time for a new movement. One that hears the crying of the poor and oppressed and with God’s love pursues opportunities to free them from their bondage.
Do you want to be a part of something like that?
In order to create a movement there are a few things we need to do.
Number one: Commit.
Commit to prayer and seeking to be transformed. You have probably heard these scriptures...
Romans 12:2 CEB
Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 CEB
Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Commit to the journey. Commit to the idea of becoming part of a movement, a movement with God as the architect. How do we do that?

Next Sunday I will be starting us on a journey together. A journey that will include a quest for spiritual formation, reorientation, and activation.
What would a new Methodist movement look like? It would be a global, spiritual and social movement, one geared for this day and age. By definition movements draw us closer together, draws the community in moves forward to see a bigger picture and a better world.
We commit by making it a priority. I know we are all busy, there is so much to do. For some it is visiting grandkids, for others it may be the job or school. For even others it could be groups of people we hang out with or other family or just trying to have fun. But what if the movement was part of what you are already doing?
It all starts with prayer. What do we pray for? we pray for our hearts and minds to be opened to opportunities to invite others into the journey.
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