November 16, 2014
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
Matthew 26:29 “I tell you I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The congregation of Grace Community Church celebrated a meal together with breakfast casseroles at the beginning of the church service.
Several short videos were shown during the service:
1. Swedenborg’s views of heaven
2. Video on suffering, emphasizing the promise of a coming day in the fullness of Jesus’ presence
3. Billy Graham’s thoughts on facing death and looking toward heaven
4. Heaven is for Real (short selection from movie) where Colton concludes his experiences by saying, “Heaven is for real and you’re going to like it.”
Dialogue sermon at the table, between Kelley and John Ulrich: Usually we want to know certain things about a meal, e.g. : Who’s coming? What’s on the menu? Let’s ask just such questions this celebration meal in Matt 26:29:
1. What is the occasion of this celebration?
In Rev 19:9, it is described as “the wedding supper of the Lamb”, a wedding feast in the kingdom of heaven, where we (the Church) are the bride of Christ.
2. What is the venue for this meal to happen?
It happens in eternity. How do we visualize it..certainly not with puffy clouds in heaven. The feast and eternity will come together, according to Rev 21, with “a new heaven and a new earth”, the “New Jerusalem”. Randy Alcorn in his book, Heaven, reminds us that we will have a resurrected everything. The meal and eternity will be on this new earth.
3. Who else will be at this feast?
Believing loved ones and friends. With our new resurrected bodies, we will recognize each other, as well as more new believing friends from all over the world.
4. What is on the menu?
Observations: It will be real “earthy” food. According to Isaiah 25:6, we will eat “rich food, meat and fine wines”. In Rev 22:2, the Tree of Life in heaven will bear “fruit”. It will be resurrected food eaten with our resurrected taste buds, making it even more enjoyable!
The point is that the heaven will be great! We will kick off our new life with Jesus with this feast, this meal which is an expression of His creativity and excellence.
The announcement of this feast in Matthew and Revelation is to encourage us to set our sights beyond this world to eternity where we celebrate “in my Father’s kingdom”.