This summer I'm glad to say that O-wood has tried to keep the summer a time of learning and being together with one service and a combined SS hour with hot-button topics (it was porn this morning--gotta have your Starbucks!). And the positive side of having different preachers who don't normally get to preach is that they are really excited about it. Usually they've been mulling on a topic for a while, getting it ready to present, pumped up about preachin'.
This was one such Sunday. Chuck preached this morning on heaven, on seeing today through tomorrow's eyes. We're standing on the edge of the new kingdom--like the Israelites at the Red Sea or Promised Land--and we're trapped in our slave-ish thinking, neglecting to realize God's presence right amongst us, despairing, complaining, having unbelief in our hearts. Hindsight is great but God's Word is better. He actually gives us the picture of the future to help get us through today (Rev. 21 & 22 was the text). And even more amazing--WE are the edge of the kingdom, advancing Christ's kingdom wherever we're at.
The last stanza of a Charles Wesley hymn we sung this morning also really resonated with me as we've been studying Lost Women of the Bible. What a different kind of "lost" we'll be in:
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.