REJOICE: The Message of Philippians
Rejoice in the Grace of Peace
July 16, 2017
Guest Pastor Richie Sessions
The truest thing about you is that your name is written in heaven.
Think about all the garbage that we tell ourselves about who we are. All the garbage and all the titles that we put on ourselves. Jesus is saying, ‘I will tell you, I know a place where you can have true joy that nothing will ever change. Nothing can get to your name written in heaven, because I did it.’
In heaven – rejoicing that your names are written in heaven – it’s paradise. Everything is perfect forever. It’s what you and I long for. It’s what, when we were children, we knew how to want and how to desire and dream of, then we grow up and we think heaven is some fairy tale.
From the Chronicles of Narnia, at the end of The Last Battle. Aslan the Lion spoke, and as he spoke, “He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” (The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis)
Does your heart begin to jump inside of you right now? Maybe it hurts because you’re so afraid to hope in something like that. Jesus is saying, ‘it’s written in heaven.’
Happiness is fickle. You can be really unhappy right now and still have joy. Happiness is as fickle as the weather in Tennessee. Joy is rooted in the giant oak at the end of the world in the new Eden. The uglier that this world becomes, the hotter your hope burns.
Right now, you have peace with God. You may not have peace with your spouse. You may not have peace with your teenager. You may not have peace with your boss. You may not have inner peace – whatever that is – peace with yourself. You may not even know what that means. But you have peace with the creator of the cosmos. Peace – so much so that he looks at you and says ‘Peace. Peace be on your head. Peace, my beloved child. Peace, you’re mine. I will never lose you. I love you.’
Even when you’re crying, you can rejoice in what can never be taken away from you.