7a “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will
see him..." 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
When you see your Lord face to face, what do you
imagine will happen? If you were asked to paint a picture of what
that initial encounter will look like, how would you draw it?
I have many images in my mind of what that moment will be like -
sometimes I imagine I will immediately fall at God's feet; sometimes I
think I will just keep on staring at the Lord, weeping with joy; other
times, I imagine I will be singing and dancing in praise, or maybe all
three will happen.
Perhaps you don't dwell on what heaven and that initial meeting
of God will look like because you are too bogged down with worries of your
current life. Or maybe you don't think of these things because you are
content with your life here on earth.
John paints a picture of the second arrival of Christ coming
down with the clouds. He says every eye will see the Lord and that
all peoples on earth will mourn (it is unknown if this is a reference to
just the unbelievers or to all people). This heartbroken response is
consistent with Isaiah's proclamation, "woe is me", when he
encountered God, because in light of God's righteousness, his sinfulness
was magnified, which led to the mourning of his transgressions (Isaiah 6).
But for the faithful, there is an anticipation of something
better. John reminds us that Jesus freed us from our sins by His
blood. He has made us to be a Kingdom and has given us the task of being
priests who will serve our God forever. This is the promise of the the
everlasting, unchanging One, who existed before time and will exist forever
- the ALMIGHTY.
Doesn't this fill you with anticipation? You may not know what
that initial encounter with God will look like, but whether you are in the
midst of your worries, or in the midst of your contented life, or even in
the middle of your greatest despair, THERE IS HOPE - a hope of spending
eternity with our Creator, engaged in everlasting praise and service to our
Savior. This is what we were created for. What a joy to look
forward to for eternity! It is a good thing to reflect on Heavenly
matters, even if we don't completely know what everlasting life with our
Savior will be like.
Thank You, Lord, for
giving us a glimpse of what our encounter with You will be like. We
praise You for the hope that this promise of eternity with You instills in us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "I can only imagine when that day comes, And I find
myself standing in the Son, I can only imagine when all I will do, Is forever,
forever worship you, I
can only imagine..." "I
can only imagine" by MercyMe
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things