Last night I dreamed that my church had had enough of me! Two of my pastors approached, saying, "We’re through with your liberal ideas. You need to leave." They threw me out.
It was inexplicably painful because so often my heart's desire was simply to give up on the church. Many days I longed to walk away without looking back (to look back might have turned me into a salty pillar of fundamentalism).
In the dream I left, broken and dejected. "I was there for you," I called back, trying to validate my purpose.
I must have tossed and turned in my sleep, my subconscious wrestling with dreams and fears no longer dormant. Outside, the sky was cold and black, twinkling with stars...
Somewhere off in unseen infinity a celestial explosion was brewing...
Supernovae are explosions which occur at the death of stars. Before a star goes supernova it has to collapse in on itself. This enormous ball of heat and light and energy begins to grow dim. As it shrinks down to a fraction of its once grand scale the crashing sun looks rather dismal. It becomes darker and denser than it has ever been before. And the star implodes.
Compared to the memory of what once was, a star in this process looks to be a failure. Its light is going out, its heat is fading and its size and shape are all but lost. The blackness of space looms all around and the light of other stars shines only faintly in the distance.
Debris and refuse with no connection to this star are suddenly pulled in by the swelling negative energy; particles from all over space pulled in by the swelling vortex.
Imperceptibly, the vacuum of this star grows too strong and the tiny nucleus is too dense. And it explodes.
It EXPLODES!! Light flashes, heat emanates and spreads...
Now it has two choices: to expand or become a black hole.
As a nebula cloud, everything this star previously existed as will be suddenly, radically changed and transformed. The old dying sun gives way to a new, bright, expanding cloud of heavenly gas and particles. Delicately, it will spread its way through space in pink and purple hues and yellow tracers. Everything in space that comes in contact with the cloud may pass through unharmed but for shimmering wisps of gas that cling tightly, resonating a halo effect. Glowing.
But as a black hole, the explosion only gives way to further desecration. In the wake of a phenomenal blast, ultimate gravity pulls everything around itself into the nothingness it personifies. Not even light can escape.
The choice is left to us. The church is shrinking. The Christianity of yesterday is dimming. The bright star of Protestantism and Evangelism and Pentecostalism is dying. Don’t argue with reality. Close your eyes if you want to; the sun is still wasting away.
But the glory of the Son may be rising. Even as Christendom itself feels the pangs of decay, a chain of events are in place that could EXPLODE in a brilliant, electrifying supernova. The church can be reborn. But when that happens, it won’t look like a church. Not anymore. Its presence will be gentle and broad and effervescent. It will reach into our hearts instead of just our heads. It will change our lives; not only our ideas. It will renew our relationships instead of our fanaticism. And we will glow in the light of a living God: Jesus Christ, the Star Who exploded throughout our world and Who still desires to light our way into tomorrow.
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."