Neighbors for Neighbors

Do stuff with and for your neighbors

Have you ever been to a child's play practices? They can be a torturous experience. You can't help but wonder whether anyone is paying attention let alone whether they will ever be able to learn their roles. Chaos reigns until the day of dress rehearsal. Finally, the children are paying attention. They may not (and all too often don't) know their roles, but at dress rehearsal there is a good chance that at least some of the kids are giving it a try. Dress rehearsal is way better than regular practice; however, it's not nearly as fun or as good as the actual presentation of the play.

Life can be likened to a child's play. Life can be torturous, full of chaos and purposeless until we really get to know Jesus. Personal knowledge of God opens the meanings and purposes of life in new ways. In Christ the Holy Spirit begins to counsel and teach us our roles, and we begin to pay attention to God and life as never before.

As we walk with Jesus we will experience life on deeper levels - deeper joys and deeper sorrows. The abundant life that Christ provides (John 10:10) includes a wide spectrum of experiences and emotions. Yet, this life - as good and meaningful as it is - never completely satisfies. This is because our lives in Christ are in many ways only a dress rehearsal for our full lives - the real production - in heaven. The "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) that we carry deep inside our spirits is for a day yet to come. God has placed eternity in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We rejoice in our present grace, but we hope for "His appearing;" When Jesus returns we will experience the fulfillment of our longings. (Romans 8:23-25)

We must be reminded that nothing in this life will ultimately satisfy us. It's all a dress rehearsal. No thing ... no person ... no experience will completely satisfy. They will all let us down. They are samplings and tastes of their greater fulfillment in the life to come. You may have some great memories that leave you aching because you don't know if you will ever experience anything like that again. Or you may be longing or hoping for something that has not yet happened in your life. Stir yourself and your faith today. There are greater things ahead - far greater things in heaven. "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to Me [says the Lord], and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare." (Isaiah 55:2) Allow yourself to experience the "inexpressible joy" of knowing Him and the future hope of being with Him. (1 Peter 1:8)

Rehearsing with you,
Pastor Tom

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