It happened like this. I woke up early and went running in the cathedral of the outdoors. The sky was so blue above and underneath my feet was grass and dirt, so heavenly and earthy at the same time. In this church there are no walls. The sun shone, a chill was in the air, and birds were singing. A few bursts of color were here and there- a dandelion, a purple weed, a red flower. (It is, after all, winter so the full range of color was muted.) It seemed like the earth sang with the joy of worship. My mind flew into the heavens.
And I found I was not by myself. I thought of all those worshiping before the throne of God in heaven, that great multitude of believers who have gone on ahead. I saw Moses and Abraham. David and Job and Ruth. Luther and CS Lewis and Corrie Ten Boom. Mom and Dad. Mick and Lynn and Ralph J and Ruth T. And so many children, among them Olivia and Rejoice and Marian. Some faces I recognized and more I did not – it was, after all, a great multitude, a cloud of witnesses.
I listened to the words of my friend, Libby, on my ipod reminding me that life is only partly lived here – that there is so much more to come. Our loved ones who have gone on ahead are even now enjoying heaven and the presence of God in a way we can only look forward to. And in the here and now, we can worship with them – in faith. In a sense we praise God together.
I came home from my ‘church in the open’ encouraged and lighthearted. Life is good, God is amazing and I look to all of the future with anticipation and joy.