The God we worship and serve is, “…the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not yet exist.” Romans 4:17
Many of you heard us talk about the project my daughter, Emarie, was involved in last semester as part of the Virginia Tech Design Build Lab in the school of architecture. They started with a dream and a filthy, polluted mud-hole in an economically blighted and aesthetically exhausted town called Clifton Forge.
From the dream they developed plans. From the plans they developed models. With the models and plans they made a pitch to the town leaders. From the plans they made a list of materials. With the list of materials they went after donors. With the money and donations they ordered all of their supplies and gathered all of their tools and recruited just the right contractors. With the plans and the materials and the contractors they started production off site of all but the largest pieces of the puzzle and when the time was right they loaded all of those pieces on to great big trucks and moved them to the site.
Then those same kids who did the dreaming and planning and pitching and producing moved into the town, into the very homes of the citizens, and worked sun-up to sun-down for forty-two days straight to bring together all of the parts of the plan and build the most stunning and functional facility that town has seen in decades. (See a time lapse video here http://vimeo.com/45470979).
That amphitheater will continue to bless Clifton Forge with music, storytelling, festivals and beauty for many decades to come. Those visionary dreamers gave Clifton Forge a great gift.
You see where this is headed right?
God, our God, is the visionary God, the God who is the dreamer of dreams for his people, the architect of blessing who draws up all of the blueprints, who works through all of the engineering problems, sorts out all of the logistics, and finally brings together all of the resources at just the right time and in just the right place to bring blessing to his people.
(See: Ephesians 1:11; Heb. 6:13-14; Hebrews 11:40; Jeremiah 29:10-11)
He is the God who blessed Abraham and through him the whole world.
God is the God who at just the right time and in just the right place brought all of the pieces of his great plan together and sent his son into a filthy, sin polluted mud-hole called Nazareth, on a morally blighted, spiritually diseased place called earth. His perfect son then worked three solid years, sun-up to sun-down, to bring about the most beautiful thing anybody had ever heard of: not an amphitheater, but the Kingdom of God on earth.
Here’s the curious thing: Everybody thought he failed. This crazy dreamer who called God his Father and encouraged people to love their enemies, who healed the sick and raised the dead, couldn’t manage to overcome the religious bureaucracy. They killed him, buried him and sealed the tomb.
Or so everyone thought, until he walked out of the tomb more alive than he had ever been before.
Then God did the most beautiful thing of all, the thing he had dreamed, the thing he had planned all along. He “poured out his Spirit on all peoples” so that young men dreamed dreams and old men saw visions. Then there was an explosion, the formation of millions and millions of spiritual stones coming together in millions of houses forming a holy priesthood offering up spiritual sacrifices to God so that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (1 Peter 2:4-5 & Eph. 3:10).
We, you and I, the Church across the ages and across the world, are the amphitheater upon whose stage the story of the goodness of God in Jesus Christ is played, and sung, and danced, and dramatized, and celebrated.
Your life is not an accident. Your presence in this world today is not by chance. God has a plan for you. God is a dreamer of good things for his people and you are in his dreams. Your life may feel like a muddy, polluted, morally devastated, and spiritually diseased hole; or maybe just a regular failure. Don’t let that bother you. God isn’t finished. Learn to seek him. Listen for his voice. Tell him that you want to dream his dreams. Tell him that you are seeking His good gifts. He has good things for you in mind.