I have gotten the warm pleasure of joining this particular small group within one of the many churches I have been trying out. This is my first time being in a community of believers that has such a wide age variation- from people my age up to married couples and even grandparents. And here’s what I’ve noticed…..
It is good. There is a sweet and vivid depiction of Christ-like love in how the entire group communes together. Since Day One there has been nonstop laughter followed by deep-deep worship. One thing that has strongly caught my eye is how the young children around treat their fathers. They. Love. Their. Daddy. I mean, those kids absolutely adore their dads. You can see the pure admiration in their eyes, even the babies. In the future, I want that very badly. I’m praying for it. Now, it is not that those guys did everything right per se, because there is the element of God’s grace…but I sure do want to learn from them though. I’m taking notes with a permanent mental-marker.
What is even more special is that this weekly occurrence of meeting together for fellowship happens everywhere across the globe. Believers constantly gathering together to pray and cry and eat and laugh. This picture, when seen from a holistic perspective, is jaw-dropping. We have brothers and sisters THROUGHOUT the world, but can’t really come close to grasping or seeing the fullness of what exactly is happening. But one day we will. One day we will.
The scriptures repetitively attempt to show us this theme of eating together, sometimes partying in celebration even. In summary, those scriptures say that:
“good food and good wine is to be enjoyed with good friends and an abundance of jokes and laughter because….this is how we practice for heaven.”
The big question now becomes, “what are we practicing for?”
Some of my favorite imagery in Revelation is that of the future “Wedding Supper of the Lamb.” The possibilities of what that will look like are endless. Fortunately, Revelation 19-20 gives us some details. During the second coming of Jesus, after the Judgment, there will be a great multitude of joyful singing and music leading up to the millennial reign of Christ. There will be epic shouting of praises because we finally see God in his fullness and to our shock He has chosen us to be with him. It will literally sweep us off our feet. No seriously, it literally will…because what directly follows is the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7,8). This will consist of us, the corporate members of the church, being made ready for our impending event with Christ. Just try to imagine the feeling of what that’s going to be like. The excitement of our full consummation with Christ, all that we’ve hoped for and prayed for has finally arrived. Our emotions will be running high. We are talking about ALL the believers past, present, and future. ALL, together.
Finally the moment arrives, as it is now time for the highly anticipated Wedding Supper Of The Lamb!!! Our delicious feast with Jesus Christ! Jesus alludes to this gigantic family meal at certain times during his earthly ministry, namely in Luke 22 and Matthew 8.
He tells his disciples that they will all “eat and drink again in the Kingdom that God has granted.” He also mentions that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be at this table with us. In Revelation 15:3, John says that there will be songs sang of Moses and of the song of the Lamb. Many theologians believe that these passages give us key hints into how this feast will play out.
This scene is interpreted to describe a dinner “toast.” In this scene, believers from around the world and from different time periods on earth will be telling their individual stories of how God saved them and did tremendous things during their lives…all to the glory of God. So Moses will stand up and tell the story of Pharaoh and the burning bush. He won’t be stuttering as he did in his earthly body. When he gets to part of the Red Sea parting, the apostles Peter and Matthew will interrupt him and joyfully shout for him to “act” it out again. And Moses will do it and we’ll all laugh and worship about what God did there. People will glance over at Jesus as to say, “ Wow, you were in control of that too?!?!!”
Then Abraham will speak. Then Elijah. King David. Mary Magdalene. The Samaritan Woman. And so on. Then it will be our turn to speak and tell our stories. I would contend that the most epic stories told will be those told by the smallest, most unheralded of people.
-The surprising stories will be those similar to the little old lady that lived in the 1840s risking her like to teach Irish immigrants the Gospel as they arrived in Manhattan.
-It’s going to be the millions of Africans that were martyred for coming to Christ in the early 1900s, but never hesitated as their brothers and sisters were killed in front of them.
-The heart-wrenching story will come from the physically/mentally challenged kids that died at young ages because their health completely failed them. For the record, scripture is going to say that these kids will be in perfect, new spiritual bodies at this supper. And they will clearly speak to us all with power and purpose.
-Some of the most glorifying stories will be that of the guy that struggled with depression and spiritual warfare his entire life….but kept praying and kept pushing into the Lord.
This feast will have some very crazy, awesome-filled moments. What is tough is imagining someone standing up and bragging about how easy and lukewarm their Christian life was. Not directly after John the Baptist talks about the awesome times he had baptizing people, lets be real. See, it’s very tough to give glory to God when your praise is to health, prosperity, and ease; but not to the giver of all things. We must remember to give glory to God always. Especially now, today, together, because this is our practice for when we get to Heaven.
Other verses used: Hebrew 10:25, Ecclesiastes 9:7, Exodus 24:11, Daniel 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 20:1-5, 1 Corinthians 15:35-49, 1 John 3:2, Hebrews 10:25.