Monday, January 28, 2013

Thoughts of communion, Dreams of adventure

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” - Revelation 21:5

Yesterday, I had the honor of sharing communion with Hannah, Brie, and Joe at the dining room table of our Hobbit Hole. Per Brie's delicate stomach, the bread was gluten-free, and per the cold icy weather, the drink was a hot brewed, deep red berry-flower tea, appropriately strong and bitter. Our little family is becoming more and more comfortable with our "unorthodox orthodoxy," as we value more and more the significance and deep truths behind the sacraments and traditions and legacies that have shaped our faith.

The Scripture we studied together was Revelation 21:1-6, and it was pretty awesome to remember the sacrifice of Jesus while looking ahead to the hope that awaits us. We were each reminded of other passages or lessons that we've learned, and shared them to enrich our study and encourage each other. Then we served communion to each other and prayed.

But communion continued, because we sat around the table, talking about what life might be like when the Lord makes everything new: We will be ourselves in a purer and more powerful way than we ever could  be now, without the restraints of such burdens as guilt and insecurity. We will be able to do the things our hearts long to do without the bonds of pain and weakness. We will know each other in a deeper and clearer way, without the barriers of selfishness and envy. None of our thoughts will be clouded with worry, our actions won't be hindered by fear. We will climb mountains, swim seas, race ostriches, without getting weary. We will roll in snow and bake in sunshine and dance in rain without our bodies reacting in protest. We will walk and laugh, and I think we might even do some work side by side with our Lord! Can you just imagine, tending a garden with Jesus? What if we get to be a part of his "making everything new"? What if he gives us quests to go out and plant, cultivate, bless, and refresh all of creation?

We looked at each other with huge smiles on our faces as our imaginations started getting a bit out of control. "OK girls," Joe said, "I think we need to resolve right now... to go on an adventure together, when we are all there." Yes! Absolutely! Let's do it! Unanimous resolution regarding eternity, made eagerly and without hesitation. Who would turn down an adventure in which you are guaranteed not to die or suffer loss, but only victory?!

But how would we remember our resolve? At best, our memories of this life will probably be shadows - hence, the "no more tears" promise. And we can't possibly plan it out, since we really don't know what to expect. But Joe was thinking ahead: "What if the King plans the adventure, specially designed for us, and sends us out on it?" Of course! He is already preparing a place for us, so it would make sense for him to prepare adventures for us to have there too. He knows us perfectly, so he would know the events and places and encounters that would thrill our hearts the most. And whatever he does is to his own glory, so we could be certain that whatever he plans, it will be beautiful and exhilarating and powerful and beyond our wildest imaginations....

So Father, we look forward to the day we will truly be with you, and all things will be made new. We trust that you are planning incredible adventures for us to live out in your eternal kingdom, and we can't wait to be in your presence and experience the joy of knowing you fully. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! And until that day, give us grace to seek out the adventures you have for us in this world, and to discover the beauty of your love and grace even in the brokenness around us, as we learn what it means to live out of the kingdom of heaven that is here and now. (Matt. 10:7-8)