Recently, our church has seen the departure of what turns out to be about half of our congregation considering the number of people we began with. In one of the last services we had together with those who were about to depart for the mission field, new jobs, and other destinations, I decided to move away from the seat I originally chose in order to go stand and sing beside someone I consider a good friend. It’s always better to sing with someone, after all, especially if they are leaving next week. We happened to be singing “Shadows” by DC*B ft. Lecrae, and I was overwhelmed with praise for the God who brings us through our trials. I was arms-raised and weeping overwhelmed, and I was not alone. There is a unity the Holy Spirit brings to Christ’s church when we truly worship together. It is beautiful and solidifying, it breaks any fear we have of separation because we know we will be worshipping together in Heaven. Worshiping the same God, all of us. It’s glorious, and glory-bestowing on the one who made it happen, when we praise Him together.
This comes after having to go through the difficult transition of leaving the church I have been in for 20+ years to start the little church plant that God called my husband to help pastor. I’m going to be honest, it was hard for me. I miss all the people who invested their lives in me, and all the children who I have invested a part of my life in. And the same holds true for family and family-like friends who are scattered abroad- my loved ones in North Carolina, in Hungary, in Japan. It also stretches beyond earthly limitations as well.
A few weeks prior, a friend of many of us went to be with God in Heaven. He was known for singing loudly with a deep heart of gratitude towards his savior. Several people remarked at his funeral that He would now be singing in the presence of his Savior. The Sunday afterward, once again, I was weeping while singing, considering the connection across the immeasurable division created by death between those of us still living and those who have passed on. It reminded me of others who have passed on to join the choir of every tongue, tribe, and nation. I began pondering again how we on earth are connected with those who have passed on any time we truly worship God. It just amazes me. I was struck by the thought when I miscarried my first child. The thought that I might be singing along with Ariel, who was already in the presence of God worshiping Him ahead of me, was astounding. It gave me joy. The knowledge that my friend, though her husband is no longer here, is singing along with him every time she opens her mouth to praise her Savior. It’s beautiful.
We are singing to the same God. We with our little choirs in different church buildings all across the globe are all singing to the same God, sometimes at the same time. We with our little voices down here on earth, are raising up a song that joins as a verse with the never-ending song closest to God’s ear in Heaven, and we are united with those loved ones there as well.
Across the greatest distances, across the impassable boundaries between living and living anew…
We are worshiping the same God.
We are worshiping for the same reason- we’ve all been saved by Jesus Christ.
We are worshiping, indwelled by the same Holy Spirit. Not several different spirits. Not pieces of Him, either. He is one. Therefore we are united by Him being us. When we worship God. We all are one. Praise God, Friends!
It’s hauntingly beautiful to me. Thank you, God.