Two Visions about the Uniting Church

Two visions about the Uniting Church

Rev Anne Hibbard

bujkenka-polandImage by Poland Eujenke   Unsplashed

Some of you may wonder how I became called to the ministry of prayer leadership within the Uniting Church.  It all began with a vision.  The Lord spoke to me and I’ve never been the same since.

It began soon after resolution 84 going back now to 2003 when a mass exodus happened from our national church with many good leaders leaving us.  At the time I was minister at Liverpool Uniting.  We decided as a congregation not to worry too much even though we were disturbed the church couldn’t make a stand on this issue.  We  formed as a congregation our own statement on sexuality and we got  on with our own mission and calling others into faith in the Lord Jesus.  We had a few members leave over the issue but thought we were on our way and it was behind us.

A few months later I went on a week long prayer retreat.  It was there I had the vision that changed my life.

I saw a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and a beautiful bride.  I had a sense that the bride was only part of the church – the Uniting Church.  The bride and Jesus were dancing.  It was very joyous.  The bride then took the veil off her head and put it into pig’s slop and then put it back on her head.  The bride looked to Jesus as if saying, let us go on dancing.  Instead, Jesus with immense sorrow and compassion looked at the bride and wept. 

From that moment I began to hear Christ’s lament for us as a church. 

Jesus in his love for us all wants to tenderly wash us clean.  Ephesians 5:25-27 expresses his deep desire.  

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” 

Even in our own basis of Union it says in paragraph 4 that the Lord comes addresses and deals with us.   

The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church is able to live and endure through the changes of history only because its Lord comes, addresses, and deals with people in and through the news of his completed work. 

Our forebears had great faith when the Uniting Church was being formed that our Lord Jesus Christ is alive and would take and active role with us.  He comes to   address and deal with us through the incredible news of all that he accomplished on the cross, so that we might be able to endure through the immense changes happening in history. 

Our forefathers also had faith in the role of the Holy Spirit when we have lost our way.  The prayer that we can pray is expressed in the final paragraph of the basis of union

The Uniting Church prays that, through the gift of the Spirit, God will constantly correct that which is erroneous in its life, will bring it into deeper unity with other Churches

I invite you to cry out to God through this month, that through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God will correct that which is erroneous in our life.  Pray that this will happen so that we can come into deeper unity with the wider body of Christ in Australia.  Know that that prayer will shake our church to her core.

Erroneous means incorrect, wrong, mistaken, false, flawed, faulty, inaccurate, untrue, invalid, unfounded, spurious, amiss, unsound, wide of the mark, inexact, fallacious.  

This week, 13 years later i had a follow up vision to my original vision.

I saw the bride still with the dirty pig polluted veil on her head. By now it was putrid and the bride was getting sick.  I saw Jesus urging her and begging her to take the veil off and he would wash it. She refused to see that anything was wrong even though she was coughing and obviously very unwell. After some time of urging without success the bride became so unwell that she collapsed to the ground,  no longer able to rise.  Jesus did not give up on her even in her foul, arrogant state.  He went to her.  She was barely conscious.  She was no longer able to remove the veil herself because all her strength had gone.  He reached out to her and asked her if she wanted him to remove it.  I saw her open her eyes, flickering with her last death rattle strength she mouthed “Yes”.  Tenderly Jesus removed the veil.  Immediately a little colour came into her face.  He then began to wash the veil in his blood.  All the pig’s foul, putrid pollution was washed clean by our Lord.  He came over to His bride.  She was starting to take big clean breaths now no longer hindered by the veil of death.  Slowly she regained strength and could rise from her fallen state.  In time the veil restored to purity and holiness was placed on her head.  Slowly and surely in the fullness of time she began the bridal dance once again with her bridegroom.   The bridegroom’s eyes were so full of joy.