On 13th January 2008, a church member shared with the whole church the details of a vision she’d received on 4h November 2007. So striking was this vision that 5 others were called in specifically to pray and sift, and agree the way forward – it was agreed we share it fully with members in early January.
The words now shared were made available to all members of the church, with the suggestion that we all took prayerful steps to consider what the Lord was requiring or asking of each of us.
The vision relates directly to what the Lord has done for us on the Cross, in terms of His love and forgiveness, and it also clearly charges us to use 2008 as an opportunity to close the book on the past and to move forward all working together.
It spoke so powerfully to our (2008) situation …a real Jubilee!
Text of notes that were written down and read from is as follows…
“The local preacher had just started to preach on Zacchæus and forgiveness, when the cross on the wall at the front of the church became white and very bright.
“My first reaction was, pull yourself together, this cannot be happening; but I could not get away from it.
“I closed my eyes. I looked out of the window… looked at the floor… but each time I was drawn towards the cross and what was happening.
“Jesus appeared. His face was not revealed, but the nails in his hands and feet were very visible. The cut in his side made by the sword was bleeding freely inasmuch as it was making a mess on the Communion Table, and I wanted to clean it up. But I could not. I was stuck, fast, glued to the chair.
“Jesus spoke and said (I quote), “I am here because of my love and forgiveness to you. Tell the church to use the 50th celebrations (of 2008) as a closing of the book on the past, and going forward, all working together.”
“As the vision faded, we were singing hymn 683 from Mission Praise, and Jesus said, “Use this hymn as a stepping stone to the future. Each verse has a message.”
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice which is more than liberty.
There is plentiful redemption in the blood that has been shed;
There is joy for all the members in the sorrows of the Head.
There is grace enough for thousands of new worlds as great as this;
There is room for fresh creations in that upper room of bliss.
For the love of God is broader than the measures of man’s mind;
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
But we make His love too narrow by false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness with a zeal He will not own.
If our love were but more simple we should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be illumined in the presence of our Lord.
[ words by Frederick W Faber (1814-1863) ]