Day 17

Celebration in Heaven

from the reading plan

Revelation 19:1-21, Revelation 20:1-15, Isaiah 25:6-9, Isaiah 54:5-7, Ephesians 5:25-27

I am a pastor, and every week in our church we come to the communion table. Though I sometimes feel an internal pressure to try to keep my words fresh and the invitation to the table interesting, I find that I return to a few key ideas that I express in roughly the same way every week. One of those truths comes from today’s text.

As we prepare to rise from our seats to come forward to receive the bread and cup, I remind the congregation that this table won’t last forever. One day, the communion table will become a relic of a bygone era—something we used to do. Why? Because of what we read in Revelation 19:6–10. The communion table will be replaced by the marriage supper of the Lamb. Instead of a single bite and tiny sip, a feast will spread out before us. Instead of having our appetites awakened by the tease of the bread and cup, we will have our appetites satisfied by an unimaginable banquet spread, never to hunger again.

The host of the meal will be the same—Christ Jesus. And the people gathered around the table will also be the same—all believers everywhere. But the nature and meaning of the meal will shift, or maybe a better way to say it is that it will reach its fulfillment.

Christians are a people in waiting, a Bride expecting the final return of the Bridegroom. Now we gather in worship, come to the communion table, and pray as our Lord taught us: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). But one day, Christ will come, and His return will kick off a wedding feast the likes of which this world has never seen.

The Church is the Bride, and because of Christ we are clothed in purity, with nothing held against us, nothing preventing us from looking our Redeemer fully in the eye. It is difficult—no, impossible—to fully imagine His coming glory from where we’re sitting now. But when John heard the angel describe it, he fell down in awe. Imagine what it will be like in person!

The communion table is not the only thing that will reach the end of its usefulness. So will our wandering, our duplicitous hearts, our finicky appetites, and our wavering devotion. We will be changed, draped in the glory of Christ, and given a place in His eternal presence as His beloved. If you are a believer in Christ, there is no reality more certain than this.

Written by Russ Ramsey

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