Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us… Hebrews 12:11
One of our members sent this message to me:
“I wanted to thank you for using the prerecorded benediction with our choir the past 2 weeks. What I find especially satisfying is the chatter and laughter during the postlude. It feels like home. I think that we are getting a taste of the separation of the family of God of those in Heaven and those still on earth. What rejoicing there will be when we all get together at HBPC but even more so when it is in Heaven.”
I’ve been thinking about this for awhile as we continue our online worship presence. We are a part of the Church Militant, the church still on earth. The Church Triumphant includes all those who have gone before us and worship with the heavenly choirs. And they worship with us.
Both the books of Isaiah and Revelation speak of heavenly worship, where the angels gather around God and offer their praise. Revelation speaks of the worship of angels, creatures and elders. Worship in heaven sounds lively – and I’m reminded of the hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King” written by Francis of Assisi. All of creation worships God.
I am also reminded of a scene from the 1984 movie “Places in the Heart”.
The closing scene of the movie shows a Communion scene. As the Elders pass the bread and cup, seated in the sanctuary are church members who died during the movie. They sit together with the living members. The church, whether gathered or scattered is surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses.
Brothers and sisters, we are not yet able to enter the sanctuary together. We might be watching the worship services at different times. But we are still worshipping together!
And one day, hopefully soon, we will joyfully be reunited in our sanctuary.