Living the Dream
Version 7 of the WAW (Who Are We?) story
In this version we see ourselves in Christ as trailers for a movie about the coming world of peace
Prototype story by Stan Nussbaum
Rephrase or rewrite as needed for your situation
The first humans had it all. There was no way to envision anything more beautiful, pleasant, or satisfying. They even had frequent visits from the Real GOD himself.
Something has obviously gone wrong since then, and there are all kinds of conflicting visions of how to fix it. This story sketches one of those visions for the world.
I call it the best vision ever because it is more than wishing, hoping, and trying to be good. This vision is ancient, it is true, it flexes for all ages and cultures, and its followers may die for it but they will not kill to bring it about. Here it is, starting about 4000 years ago.
An old man with a small family sees a vision that confirms an incredible list of God’s promises to him—his descendants will be as uncountable as the stars, God will give them control of a vast area of land, and they will bless every family on earth.
Those promises begin to come true for Abraham and Sarah as their family grows to become a whole nation and gets established in its homeland. God sends prophets like Isaiah who talk of one particular king whom God will send at his chosen time. He will rule the entire world, not just the land of Abraham’s nation, and his reign will never end! The nation can’t wait for his arrival, but they do have to wait for hundreds of years.
And then out of nowhere God finally moves the vision forward. An angel appears to Mary and tells her she will miraculously become pregnant with the baby who will make the nation’s vision come true. That baby, God’s son Jesus, grows up to declare: “The ancient vision is coming true now! God’s glory is on the rise!” He shows it by healing many people, by teaching brilliantly in ways that ordinary people could understand, and by calling people to follow him and trust him absolutely.
Powerful people see that he is on a campaign to carry out his vision, and he will take over everything if they do not stop him. They put him on trial for talking like he is the Messiah, the super-king the prophets envisioned and predicted, and they accuse him of being a liar whose vision will lead his nation to disaster. They sentence him to die on a cross not just to kill him, but to shame him, destroy his reputation, crush his vision, and end his campaign.
But it all backfires. All it does is set the stage for the proof that the Real GOD sent him, and his vision was true. On the third day, God the Father raises him from the grave to carry his campaign on to victory!
We might expect him to claim his throne on the spot, going back to the court to ask them, “Can you hear me now?” But he does not do that. He returns to his heavenly throne without dying again, but before he goes he tells his campaign team what to do until he comes back to earth to take total control here and destroy evil.
His team is supposed to embody the vision, not impose it by force! How can they do that? He sends his Spirit to turn them into a new kind of human being. They receive Jesus’s mercy and become merciful, showing that his vision actually works and his campaign is succeeding.
We are the current members of the campaign team. We pick up where those followers left off, and we hit some of the same obstacles. People who are pushing some other vision for the world do not want any competition from Jesus’s vision. Sometimes they trash his vision or try to block us like the powers tried to block Jesus himself, but he lives in us, sticks with us, and gives us the grit it takes to keep going with the campaign even when all hope seems lost.
Who are we? We are trailers for the movie the world will see when the campaign leader returns to carry out his vision totally. The trailer doesn’t tell you the whole story, but it gives you a feel for what kind of a story it is. That’s what we do. We already see the vision coming true as he heals, blesses, and connects us by his Spirit. We already have one foot in that glorious future! We are living the dream, that is, living part of it and looking forward to the rest.
That’s our story, and that’s why we keep telling it. How could we ever shut up about a vision that good?
Reflections on the meaning of the story, "Living the Dream"
If you have already said, “I’m in! SYNC me!” then you are on Jesus's campaign team and you just heard the story of your vision for the world. You are ready for this vision to come true, so let’s get the party started, celebrating with a huge “Yes” to all five of these things:
Yes, the vision that will save the world is not any human vision but God’s vision that he has been proactively and patiently working since the time of Abraham.
Yes, God’s whole vision for the world revolves around Jesus, the king he sent to lead the campaign for this vision.
Yes, Jesus has put his Spirit, life, and power into me, turning me into a different person and putting me onto the team that is working for this vision of a healed, blessed, and connected world.
Yes, I agree not to force the vision on anyone, but to spread it by living it out. I will start now by forgiving others like Jesus has forgiven me.
Yes, I will trust Jesus and his Spirit to get me through any opposition that comes from people who are pushing other visions for the world.
If you have not yet said, “I’m in! SYNC me!” what else would you like to discuss before you would say “yes” to these things?
Jesus won’t force you into the campaign team, but once you say yes, he brings you in. He moves into your life and you become part of the vision for the world that started with Abraham. That is what the rest of your life will be about—finding out what Jesus meant when he said, “God’s glory is on the rise!”
You won’t get to seek any glory for yourself any more, but you will radiate the glory of Jesus Christ, and by the power of his Spirit you will contribute to the fulfillment of God’s vision for the world, the vision that Jesus himself will finish when he returns to earth.