The little community I grew up in was made up of people washed up in Leigh after the war. It was linked to other such communities across the UK, meeting up for cultural festivals in the ‘national’ community centre near Derby, or more locally. At such times, as a teenager, you began to notice each community had similar characteristics and characters.
The blokes, particularly those who had remained bachelors, had a kind of uniform. Most continued to wear the same style of clothes that were modern when they arrived. They wore their suits with their Oxford Bags.
I guess they became a symbol of their identity, that they belonged in the country which had given them a home. And they remained loyal to that symbol.
But then, as fashions changed, it became a symbol of their belonging to their dream, and not wanting to let it go.
There is a sadness here, but also a fondness.
I think the same reflection could be made about church communities, and the ‘fashions’ that they hold on to.
However, the Ukrainian community I grew up in is a remnant of the past, not a dynamic part of the future. The dream turned out not to be a vision.
Without vision the people perish, the Authorised version renders Proverbs 29:18.
The Message translates it as
18 If people can’t see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
they are most blessed.
Be blessed. That is God’s vision. Wear it.