"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV
Which is more miraculous? Is it the fact that we are seated with Him in Heaven or that we are seated together with Him?
Fisherman and tax collectors... together. Protestants and Catholics... together. Generations of families will finally be together. Great great grand fathers will have animated conversations with their children's children's children. All of us will be ageless.
Our differences will be nonexistent. Our relationships will be closer. There will be no skeletons in our closets. Our scars will not hinder us from trusting.
At our Church we have something called a 'rap' and during this time people can ask questions. My old friend and I were at one a few nights ago and he leaned over and commented on how he loves that people who are struggling to apply what they just heard can ask questions even if they are struggling even to get the words of the question right. A long time ago we were in many raps together with all sorts of characters. He had his young son with him at this one. Who would have thought we would get so old and responsible.
The rap is a safe place. People who are hungry for more are there. People who have seen the value of fellowship are there. Some just have no where else to go but that is fine if the one place that remains is safe and has love with answers.
On the great day when we are all seated together with God we won't have anywhere else to go either... or will we? I don't know. I imagine however no one is going to go take a smoke break out back. No one will want to miss a moment of it. When Jesus opens His mouth to say something we will be hanging on every word.
I want to bring that rap everywhere I go. I want to bring it to dark places. I want to walk into heathen living rooms and have there be an oasis of safety where love can be communicated and exchanged. Then I want to visit again only to find that the living room is not heathen anymore.
"But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' " - Matthew 19:26 ESV
Yes. Just getting us all to sit together is impossible with man but God makes a space for us to be together. It is a space filled with grace, mercy, love and answers.
Oh God! Heaven on Earth. Can it happen? Some of us have seen first hand how You unite people. Fill our spaces God. We want to sit in places with You here on Earth. We want to see people in chairs who are being loved and are being set free in safety. Your message can create these spaces. The Gospel of grace is the content that dissolves cliques and makes us all equal. Give us the stamina to linger longer. Give us the desire to meet where others are to afraid or unwilling to go. Make us missionaries right where we are and send us places. You are the One who builds Your Church but we long to see what You do planted in needy places.