Elaine and I are members of a wonderful church in Colorado. It is a tradition within our fellowship to reserve a Sunday around Thanksgiving for a special service. This is a time where our pastor Dave bravely surrenders the pulpit over to the congregation. It is one of our favorite Sundays of the year—sorry Dave. We sit and listen to members of our congregation tell of the events of the last year which bring them thanksgiving. This year, one woman in particular caught my attention as she talked about the death sentence handed down from her oncologist.
A Kingdom of Heaven church brings all those heart issues to the attention of our prayer teams and then to the body of believers at large. This woman, who was diagnosed in March, was somehow in complete remission by Labor Day. The Kingdom of Heaven at work in our minds and spirits.
Fast forward to last Sunday. The woman who shared previously is an usher and greeted us with a more than casual embrace and escorted us to our seats. She lingered just long enough for us to get a heart touch from the Father and one of those bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven occurred. We embraced her as family. She shared about having another scan and that she would get the results next week.
Elaine and I had a mind to pluck her out of her assigned seat and squeeze her in between us for an entire church service of familial intercession that says, “Hey, you are not alone going through this! You belong to God and we are not letting you out of our Kingdom of Heaven jurisdiction.” A bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven is a place where the Kingdom of this world, with its appointed minions, gets sequestered; allowing the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Heaven to reign. A bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven requires surrendered hearts.
It doesn’t miss my notice that Pastor Dave is in a series of messages about sojourners walking in the Kingdom of Heaven while here on earth. He is teaching us regularly that the Kingdom of Heaven is here but not to the full — Already, but not yet. I do believe a Kingdom of Heaven church needs to be led by a leader who abides in the idea that the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than we think and everyone can experience it and should.
Do you embrace such a community where you live?