Last night I had a dream in two parts.
In part 1, I was citing a catena of biblical texts to a congregation of open-hearted people. In the dream, I was consciously aware of the critical difference between a catena and proof-texting or 'text-mining,' as some like to call it. A catena, in this case, was a chain of Scriptures strung together as commentary on the theme of Christ's saving work for all people, all things, the cosmos. Far from proof-texting to prove a narrow point, the effect was to paint a grand rainbow arc of God's drama of redemption.
I remember that in the dream, I was quoting actual Scriptures by memory and that there were thirty of them (I found thirty-one such passages when I awoke), flowing one after another, as follows. If the reader will refrain from skimming these, you may get the impression of momentum that left the congregation gasping in awe, which will take you to the end of part 1:
And then all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Lk. 3:6)
This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that through him all might believe. (John 1:7)
Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:17)
The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. (John 3:35)
We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world. (John 4:42)
For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6:33)
I am the light of the world. (John 8:12)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. (John 12:32)
Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. (John 13:3)
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (John 6:37, 39)
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. (John 17:2)
Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore all things. (Acts 3:21).
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. (Eph. 1:9-10)
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:22-23)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together ...and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—things on earth or things in heaven. (Col. 1:15-17, 20)
As through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (Rom. 5:18)
For from him and to him are all things. (Rom. 11:26)
He has shut up all to unbelief so that he might have mercy on all. (Rom. 11:32)
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22)
Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death. For God has put everything under His feet. But when it says “everything” is put under Him, it is obvious that He who puts everything under Him is the exception. And when everything is subject to Christ, then the Son Himself will also be subject to the One who subjected everything to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:24-28)
At the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:10)
He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself. (Phil. 3:21)
He desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4)
We labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe. (1 Tim. 4:10)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. (Tit. 2:11) He appointed the Son heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things. (Heb. 1:2)
He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9-10)
He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb, forever and ever! (Rev. 5:13)
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)Then began part 2 of the dream:
I saw a multitude of clear drinking glasses--many thousands of them.
And I saw that many--the vast majority of them--were shattered, while only a minority were preserved. Some had been broken accidently but others were deemed worthless and given over to be crushed into small shards.
I saw that all the glasses, broken or whole, were eventually buried in a giant landfill and covered over with dirt.
And then I heard two reports. Both were completely true. The first report said,
"Two kinds of glasses have gone into the landfill, those that were whole and those that were shattered. All went into the landfill."And the second report said,
"All of the glasses will be retrieved and restored from the landfill."And then I felt, rather than saw (because He was invisible), a Guide beside me, explaining the two reports. He said,
"Both reports are true. But there are two (and only two) ways to hear and harmonize the two reports."And He asked me,
"Do you think that when all the glasses are retrieved and restored, that is only referring only to the whole glasses that were buried? Or do you think that when all the glasses are retrieved and restored, that refers to all the glasses, broken and whole?"As I pondered the question, He added,
"You are permitted to hear these reports in either of the two ways. And that is the judgement. Not between the two reports or the two kinds of glasses, but between the two ways of hearing."And I wondered, does the way we hear it also determine the way we will experience it ourselves?
And I awoke. And I wondered if the broken drinking glasses was also a pun on broken seeing glasses.