Letter from St Mark's House

St Mark's House

February - March 2020

 

Dear friends 

2020. A great year for opticians for whom 20/20 vision is perfect clarity of sight. A great theme for promotional campaigns: Forbes asks “Does Your Goal Setting Have 2020 Vision?”; property developers make market predictions for 2020; Oprah Winfrey is bringing her 2020 Vision “wellness tour” to Australia - “tickets will not be cheap”; Mercy Ships’ vision is to bring sight and free healthcare by deploying hospital ships to some of the poorest countries. Personally, how clear is your vision?

When I was at university I had the privilege of living with William Nagenda who was first invited to England following involvement in the East Africa Revival. On one occasion William asked the writer Roy Hession, “What is your vision?” Roy remembers, “William waited for me to tell him what my vision was. I had been many years in the Lord's service before revival touched my heart, but my answer betrayed the fact that I had not understood what a true vision was. I said, ‘I suppose I have got three visions: I have this vision for evangelism; now I am working in a society distributing the Scriptures, and I have a vision for revival.’ William was troubled over this answer. ‘Brother,’ he said, ‘you have not really seen the way yet. A vision for evangelism, a vision for Scripture, and a vision tor revival - how terrible! There is only one vision, and that is Jesus.”’

But how can one have a vision of Jesus? We do not see with the eyes in our head, because He is not here physically, but with the “eyes of our heart”. Although we have not seen him, we love Him. We see “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Jesus himself spoke of two kinds of seeing: one kind is seeing with physical eyes, the other is with spiritual eyes. When we see with our spiritual eyes, we see the truth, beauty and value of Jesus Christ for what they really are. A blind person may see Christ more clearly than many who have eyes. 
Fanny Crosby wrote so many hymns (about 9,000!) that she used pen names lest the hymnals be filled with her name above all others. The remarkable thing about her was that she was blind and thankful for it: “if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind," she said, "because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour."

Richard of Chichester wrote a well-known prayer (popularised in Godspell) - join us in praying for 2020 vision:
Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.

 

Nick and Harriet