The Vision of a Strong Present
SERMON SERIES: “20/20 Vision”
SERMON TITLE: “The Vision of a Strong Present”
SERMON TEXT: Joshua 1:1-9 and 4:19-24
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: October 13, 2019, at First UMC
I was cleaning up my office the other day, and I found a picture that I had saved for this 20/20 Vision series. Rather than just tell you about it, I thought it would be good to show it to you so you can see it with your own eyes. This picture was circulating on the internet in August. It’s one of those optical illusion pictures that can be viewed two different ways. One way, it looks like a black rabbit. The other way you might perceive it, the picture looks like a black bird with its beak open. Probably most of us can see it either way. Someone tracked this photo down and discovered that the picture was of a real creature that lives in an animal sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri. The animal has been given the name Mischief. Are you ready to vote? How many think it’s a rabbit? How many think it’s a bird? It’s a bird. To be exact, it’s an African White-necked Raven.1
Since we’re talking about 20/20 Vision this month, I’m going to show you another test of your eyesight and perception. Very quickly, I want you to think or even say aloud: What is the first thing you see in this picture?2 . . . Some of you said mountains; others noticed the road or path. Did anyone say or think sky, field, or ground? Did anyone notice the sign in the front of the picture? That little sign is kind of like when you go to a mall, a museum, or an amusement park, and you see one of those site map signs with an arrow that says, “You are here.”
Sometimes we need to look out in the forward distance. That’s what we’ll be doing next Sunday. Sometimes we even need to turn around and look back at where we’ve been. That’s what we did last Sunday when we talked about Moses and the vision of a faithful past that we have had in this congregation. Today, though, I invite you to consider the surroundings that are close by. Let’s see if we can get our bearings as to where we are right now. Using the early chapters of Joshua’s story as our guide, let’s see if we can perceive “The Vision of a Strong Present.”
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