Last night I was in a large cafeteria much like the one I was in when I was a child. The large tables folded up to be put to the side. They were big. A group of friends were with me and we were sitting at a table neared the end. The last table had a group of young men perhaps 12-15 years of age. They sat on both sides of the table and the group was perhaps 8 or 9 of them.
I really am not sure who was sitting at our table, but it was a comfortable gathering. All of a sudden the people at my table are telling me to “Shh…Be Quiet!” It caused me to think it was funny and true to my nature I began to laugh. The “shhh’s” increased and finally a loud voice yelled, “They’re praying!” I looked over and sure enough they were. Heads bowed, with eyes staring over at me…
“Oh Father, we are your penitent ones. It is you who is gracious and merciful. We are the rotten, bad ones…” He droned on about their sins (And they were many.) but by that time I could not take it anymore. First I was angry, then I began to laugh and then I got up and walked over and began to share while the boy was praying. As the others began to weep I broke open the bread of life. “Condemnation be gone.”
(I found myself forced to research penance and the “Penitent Ones” he was talking about. Let me say, I found out a lot about hair shirts, ashes and rules.)
My friends did not know what to do. The cafeteria knew not what to do. But here came the teachers. Lee was “leaving the building.”
Moments later I was in another dream. In this dream sat a book. A book of church leaders. Subtitled “World Changers”. It was not electronic but as I watched new names appeared and the book thickened. The “birthing” of a new leader would be added. I recognized not a one. YAY! They were coming up and out and changing the world. I sat there and found myself praying over this book. For wisdom and revelation, for a spirit of unity, mercy and grace. Let them not be relation-less. Let them have friends!
In a moment I was whisked away to a large orchard. As I walked around the orchard, I saw different trees. The “problem” was there was one fruit left on each one. At the very top. I wondered. I wandered. I sensed that the single fruit was a “seed” for things to come. That there was something for “tomorrow”. The temptation was to gather the single fruits. Pears, apples, peaches, plums and more and but them in a basket. I began to realize that while the fruit identified the tree, the tree and provided identity for the fruit.
I had many other dreams throughout the night and when I woke up the dreams began to race through my mind. But the three above jumped out at me. How do they connect. What is the process?
I am not sure if it is because of Lent the first dream stuck out, but I do know each of us has the power and the voice to set the captives free. Today is that day for some of you. It is not about denigrating ashes or hair shirts but about opening the goodness of God and the freedom He has for them to be in. It is not about politics or religion but about the goodness of God poured out for them. Why a cafeteria? Why young people? I think because “food” is a foundational principle to walk in the ministry of the Lord. And the youth indicates a potential not yet seen. Whether you sup and drink or break loaves and feed the multitudes, food is important. It is the day of redemption.
The orchard confounded me a bit at first. I was hungry. But I realized that there is a showing of fruit from that which is on the inside and the result will be the ability to feed the many. You can not force fruit (Well may Monsanto can..) as it is an effortless release of what is on the inside. Why only one left on top? I sensed it was an honor and and show of identity for those that would come. (There is another season to come.)
We are in a great time. I know many who think that there is a dividing line between kingdom and this world. Yet, Jesus said “the kingdom is at hand”. He instructed folks to pray “here on earth as it is in heaven”.
Many see the greatness of God and the increase of His goodness but also say that the “world” has grown worse. Hmm…If light is increasing, how can the world and it’s darkness be gaining too? Did God create more “fallen angels”? If I turn on a light in my living room does the darkness go hide in the bathroom and the kitchen? And if I turn on the lights in those rooms, does it pile up outside the window? Folks, you CAN’T have it both ways. That is a divided mindset. Pick one and stick to it. Maybe just maybe we never walked this “far out” into the world and the darkness is dark! Maybe now that we have come out of our pristine “church buildings” we are encountering what was always there.
The average Christian (Hopefully you are not!) developed a pattern of letting go of “unsaved” friends and surrounding themselves with the “light” of fellowship. Over time they move from more unsaved friends to more saved ones. Folks-the unsaved are still there! And without you or I invading their lives I guess maybe they might be getting “worse”. So instead of singing melodies of wanting “to be like Jesus” get out there and be like Jesus!
You do not have to cross the oceans to get there, just go next door! You don’t have to run to the local teen skateboard park or seek out the darkest part of your city, because the light will get there! We are the bridge from light to darkness!
It is time to get your Facebook post off the page and into action.
You may have to repent and change your mind about how you “do church” and what you do with it. You may have to decide your light is brighter than your neighbor’s smoking or drinking.
A match is brighter than the darkness of the room. Jesus inside of you brighter than the light of day. Set people free from the bondage of the their religiosity. Change the world. Get your name added to the book of “world changers”. Let your fruit be food to the multitudes.