Did you miss me? OK, you don't have to answer that but nevertheless I am happy to be back from the Vineyard Conference & I'm looking forward to worshiping with you all this weekend. One of the things that stands out to me from last week at the conference was our last worship session on Thursday night when David Ruis was leading us over & over in this chorus: "there will be no pain & sorrow on the other side." It's no secret that I have been critical of the church in general when we have taken a theological position that the goal of this life is to get "saved" & once we're "saved" we basically just wait around for heaven. I still take issue with that overall perspective because I believe "salvation" & walking out the kingdom life is so much bigger & greater than that, BUT I don't ever want to forget or lose sight of the Blessed Hope that we have in Christ & in the resurrection. The scriptures encourage us that when we suffer loss or when a loved one dies that it is OK to mourn & grieve as those are natural responses BUT we are not to mourn or grieve like those who possess no hope. Why? Because "there will be no pain & sorrow on the other side." So if you are struggling with something or experiencing loss, even the loss of a loved one I would encourage you to get into community & walk out your journey or your struggle with people who can support & encourage you but I would also encourage you to take some time to remind yourself (or someone you know struggling or grieving) that Jesus has defeated death, stripped it of it's power & sting AND in the end it will be COMPLETELY swallowed up in victory. Be encouraged church.
Much love to all,