“Look at that dreamer, with His head in the clouds. He’s such a fool.” This is how I feel many look at me. So instead of fighting against it, I’m learning to accept it.
And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.
Acts of the Apostles 2:44 NLT
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, so I was excited when we realized that it was our devotional verse for today.
You see, I have a vision for a Christian community and farm.
A group of believers that want to do life together throughout the week, not just on Sundays and/or Wednesdays.
A group that cares for each other and shares in struggles and trials and burdens.
A group that seeks to grow in the Word of God and serve others daily.
A group that no longer wants to be trapped in the cycle of debt and chasing “mine, mine, mine” but shares together as “His for us to share”.
A group that together works a shared farm of organic crops and animals to feed their own families with healthy foods and provide clean food to the needy in the surrounding community.
A group that works hard in their professions to provide for their physical needs and their goals for providing for their families earthly needs – and that works hard in their calling and purpose to meet their spiritual needs and their families eternal salvation.
I know that many who are religious (who like their Jesus safely separated from their real lives and their real desires and set aside for just a part of the week) will say – but He’s a sect, He’s a cult. But isn’t that exactly what they said of Christ? Isn’t that exactly what they said of the disciples? Hasn’t that always been the reaction of the hard hearted Pharisees towards the sold out Christ followers?
I have no savior complex. I do not look to be the purse keeper for a group of people. I do not even look to be the shepherd of a flock. I simply want to do this Christian life, side by side, with other faithful followers of Christ, following the one true shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Rather than a single great gathering once a week, I would rather see groups of five families eating a meal together in each others homes one night a week as they return from work studying the Bible, led in turn each night by someone from that household. Taking Saturday as a day of rest from gathering together, and using Sunday as a gathering of the whole community to praise and worship the one true God.
Many will say that I have set my sights too high in believing such a thing can exist. Many will say that people will disappoint us and cause friction and division. But isn’t that the church? A gathering of imperfect people seeking to learn how Christ might change us into His likeness? Even in the struggle don’t we find the fruit of the Holy Spirit being manifest as His love is poured out in the reconciliation that comes from love?
How better to change this world and the communities around us and the practices that we know are not sustainable – than to change ourselves, one household at a time, then one community at a time – to change the very perspective of how we choose to do life – to actually open our hearts and our homes to others.
We say that we miss the days when people knew each other and did life together, but that doesn’t seem to get us away from our individual screens in our isolated homes each day. We know that we are not satisfied with the status quo of being “slaves to debt” and “chasing the Joneses” that advertisers sell us daily, but that doesn’t seem to prod us into changing our lives and our children’s futures into something more sustainable.
This dream of mine, this vision for baby steps towards a nation returned to what was a once healthy America, this vision for a Christian life returned to a once healthy body of believers – it may just be a pipe dream and I may never see it fulfilled this side of heaven, but I see the need, I see the hunger of believers tired of the “get famous, get rich” preachers selling mammon to the masses, who instead are looking for an opportunity to gather together and be fed by the one true shepherd. Those no longer content being fed upon by all those wolves claiming to be shepherds while they just take, take, take and talk, talk, talk. I see the hunger of believers who have no interest in the hierarchy of titles and positions within a religious organization, who instead want to be a group of disciples working together, seeking God, equal at the foot of the cross, with Christ through the Holy Spirit being their teacher – equipping all of His vessels for the task of discipleship.
Yes, it is an amazing dream, and we are still counting the cost. We are still looking for the open doors. But things are in motion, and the wheels are turning. From my perspective, if it is the will of the Lord, it will be so – if it is not, then He will make it clear as well. At the end of the day, I’m much more interested in the will of God being done, and if this is not His plan, then I will abandon it for His greater purpose – because not even this dream, this vision, holds a candle to my prize, my love, my Lord, my Savior, Jesus Christ.
So yes, I’m a dreamer.
Yes, I have my head in the clouds.
Yes, I believe that through Him all things are possible.
No, I’m not a conspiracy theorist.
No, I don’t see enemies everywhere.
But no, I also don’t think that our current path is sustainable without a correction – economically, politically, socially. So the question becomes, do I just complain about the need for a correction – or do I start trying to be the correction, in my life and the life of my family.