Is that a strange title? Maybe. I wanted to add two other words but titles should never be too long – if I had added those words, they would have been ‘lighthouse’ and ‘storehouse’. Let me explain.
Towards the end of last year, I had two dreams that I feel were prophetic in nature. Both had to do with the UK. In the first dream, which I share here I saw a man walking down a high street in the UK. He was middle class, fifty something and minding his own business. In the dream, I saw myself shout at him “DON’T STOP PREACHING THE GOSPEL! DON’T STOP PREACHING THE GOSPEL!” The man stopped walking and just started street preaching from where he stood on the high street.
At this point, the dream shifted. I saw a huge department store (a UK high street shop that shall remain nameless….) but there were people literally buzzing around the shop. It was a ‘hive’ of activity, but in the dream it was emphasised in terms of busyness and the best way I can describe it is ‘consumerism in hyperdrive’. People were buying food and clothes and everything they wanted, I had a sense that there was pride and prestige in being able to shop at this particular shop. It represented middle class prosperity and worldly affluence. The people buzzing around the shop had all their material needs met, they were tech savy consumers, comfortable, middle class.
The dream shifted again, and I saw another scene – a very, very different scene. In fact, it was a shocking and stark contrast. I saw children living in the ruins. Gangs of young children, ducking under broken walls and living in damp squalid conditions. They were ragged, unloved and homeless and this was the UK – not India or a worn torn corner of the middle east. These children had been abandoned, both by their families and by the system. They had grouped together into gangs, just to survive.
As I meditated on this dream, I felt the Lord bring instruction to my heart. I felt that this is a picture of the future of our country. So back to the title – is it so strange? Is it strange when compared to the words of Isaiah 60.1-3 – Arise shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Darkness covers the earth. Deep darkness the peoples. You see, light and darkness exist simultaneously in this world. Isaiah saw a day when the earth would be covered in darkness but he speaks to the church to arise and shine for their light has come. This light is the Gospel of the Kingdom, and this is the only answer for the growing inequality in our culture. Don’t stop preaching the gospel!
But there’s more. We have to mobilise and prepare. The church must take up the mantle to preach good news to the poor but also to become a lighthouse and a storehouse. A lighthouse that shines the message of salvation to all people. And a storehouse of provision that literally clothes the poor and feeds the hungry. The days ahead may be dark, but that’s when the light shines brightest.