The Foretaste

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My three year old niece loved it when her extended family sat down together for a meal.  It didn’t happen very often.  So when everyone reached out to hold hands and sing the blessing she would not close her eyes.  Instead she looked around the table from person to person beaming as all who gathered sang the song that goes, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, praise Him, all creatures here below…”  When the song prayer ended she said not “Amen,” but “Again!”  And so the family would sing the prayer once more.  And once more that three year old beamed, delighted in each person, and drank in the moment.  She knew her time was short.  Two times was the limit for the song prayer.  Soon hands would unclasp, pick up forks, and dig in “before the food gets cold.”

What touched my little niece’s heart in that moment?  What brought such joyful contentment to a normally active, searching, and “on the go” little soul?  I think it was the foretaste of heaven.  Her loved ones had traveled from near and far to sit at one table, God was praised, and needs were met in a beautiful way.  There was unity, fellowship, and loving connection.  Heaven will be like that.  One day God’s whole family will gather.  People will come from one end of the earth to the other and sit down for a glorious celebration, a great feast, the marriage supper of Christ and his followers.  Fellowship, unity, loving connection…  Will we all join hands on that day as we sit around the table of the Lord?  Will we smile at each other as we sing, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, praise Him, all creatures here below…”?  Will a glad voice cry out “Again!”?  Maybe so!

Many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 8:11 NIV

 

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