Worship at Jesus Life Center: Transported to Heaven
December 05, 2017
I often pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). This prayer lifts my spirit and brings hope to my heart as I picture the earth filled with peace and celestial joy.
However, sometimes it feels like we are living in “hell” rather than in God’s Kingdom of equality and justice. Unjust political decisions, deadly natural disasters, destructive religious conflicts, mass shootings and other
violent acts could challenge our faith.
Yet, when I think about these things, I refuse to let evil win my emotional and spiritual battles. Eventually I open “the eyes of my heart,” and try to catch glimpses of heaven in our broken world.
The last time this happened, I did not have to wait too long to experience a foretaste heaven on earth. On Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, my soul was restored while worshiping at Jesus Life Center. This United Methodist community is located in Worcester, MA, and its members beautifully represent the racial, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of the city.
In our New England Annual Conference a number of churches, such as Jesus Life Center, have been financially supported by conference programs and/or by funds allocated from Mission Shares.
By paying your Mission Shares you are keeping theses ministries alive.
To you I say:
I was amazed to see how people from Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean Islands, and North America were exalting the living God in multiple languages. Glória a Deus
Glory to God! Gloria Dios!
were shouted spontaneously as some worshippers shared inspiring testimonies of how God has changed their lives. Suddenly I noticed the fragrance of the Almighty within and around me - a heavenly scent powerful enough to transform darkness into light and to mend any broken heart.
The service was translated simultaneously without affecting the natural flow of the service. I tasted heaven in a context that could easily have been chaotic and messy. Instead of chaos, I witnessed how radical hospitality and multicultural sensitivity lead to church vitality. Jesus Life Center was relaunched only a year ago, and it is bearing amazing fruits as its members build God’s Kingdom on earth. (Read a story about the relaunch here
When the service was over, I could not keep this experience to myself. I told a few people, “I feel like I was transported to heaven!”
I shared this with one of the worship leaders, and he replied: “Yes, we are practicing what we will do in heaven. I love the concept ‘on earth as in heaven,’” referring to Revelation 7:9
: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
How marvelous it is to worship our Creator on earth as if in heaven! This kind of worship might require us to be intentional and to embrace the believe that our love for God is our common language:
- A love that can transcend all boundaries.
- A love that we can give us the necessary strength to face life’s challenges and tragedies.
So many people are lost; let’s show them the direction to heaven on earth by embracing our common language. Let’s continue to be Kingdom builders!
This story by the Rev. Geisa Y. Matos-Machuca is one in a series of stories focusing on how your Mission Shares are supporting mission and ministry around the New England Conference. Watch for more at www.neumc.org/missionstories