Longing For Consummation of Unity

I have never before longed for Christ’s coming and the marriage of the Bride as I have now. In all this time, I have never ached for Home as in these recent days.
I have almost always been joyful at the thought of it. But I haven’t really LONGED for it.
I had grown up around people who talked and sang about wanted Jesus to come soon and take us to glory.
I had developed a different response due to also growing up hearing not only of Heaven, but of eternal condemnation. I had family members who, I knew, hadn’t received Christ and I knew there were millions, or more, of others who didn’t. That haunted me as a child and motivated me as I grew older. I knew I had all of eternity ahead. I wasn’t in a hurry for Jesus to come back if that meant more time; more opportunities taken for the family of God to increase.
Recently, I also realized that we, as His children, have the opportunity to experience and bring more of the kingdom of heaven to earth. There is the incredible privilege that we have to glorify Him in our love for Him, one another, for those around us, and the earth prior to His coming that is unique to this time. There is the real promise of deep intimacy with Him now. With these promises, there is no room in my mind and heart to cry out, “get us out of here!!!”
And I still feel this way.
Lately, however, my heart has been aching because of the limitations in the unity of Christ’s body on earth. I know there is a greater unity that we can experience here before Christ’s coming. I long for that and desire to play whatever part I can in it.
Still…though my friends and I joke and wonder at how small the world is, I am acutely aware of the great relational ravine that separates believers that live a scant few miles away and get along well, but simply have limitations of time, emotional energy, and other resources that are needed to draw closer.
I can’t be in active relationship with all the brothers and sisters in my own little town, much less the whole universal church. I’m not trying to. I am struggling to know and accept the limitations of the relationships I already have with those who are part of the congregations to which I have committed in the past two decades. I’m in a time of transition and it is tearing my heart up knowing that some of these relationships are going to diminish.
His Word concerning the church gives me hope that I will know a deeper love in, with, for, from His people as part of His body. However, Paul ached from the limitations of time and space.
So, I look forward to Christ’s coming as the beginning of perfect unity with Him, the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Church with one another.
I don’t know what this would look like. My most recent imagining was that existence would be a constant mind-blowing discovery of each facet His glory, prompting us and the angelic beings to exclaimed “Holy, holy, holy!” (Thank you Paul Manwaring for this insight). I imagine among the worship prompting treasures to discover and enjoy is the full reality of each of His sons and daughters, Christ’s inheritance. (Paul prays that we would know what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints).
What I do know is that we will be fully and completely one, not separated by disagreement nor lacking in anything,but together completely taken by His glory, by the Beloved, the One who brought us together.
So good.

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