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A Little Taste of Heaven, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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    The warm moist air fogged my glasses, unknown smells enveloped me, and I was engulfed by the crescendoing noise of the street. We walked down the alleyway and onto the already crowded main street. We made our way to an off-street cafˇ and sat down. For breakfast, we ordered a scrambled egg mixed in with stir-fried chicken, hot green peppers and rice. In Bangkok less than thirty hours and on our way to church, we decided our systems needed a jump-start on the day.

    A little later, we entered a church building full of happy and excited people. They came from all over Bangkok. As the service progressed, we were thrilled to find we knew nearly all of the songs. Most were contemporary praise songs, with a couple of old hymns and a few distinctively Thai songs in the mix.

    We listened to a message from God’s Word spoken in Thai and translated into English. Then visitors were introduced — people of every skin color, from 11 different countries, and every continent except Antarctica. We greeted one another, sang a closing song, and were dismissed.

    People stayed around most of the afternoon napping, working on projects, visiting, studying, and playing games. Late in the afternoon, a young man confessed his faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and was baptized. He gave a short testimony on how he was giving up his superstitions and amulets, trusting in Jesus as Lord and wanting the Holy Spirit to help him lead his life.

The fellowship and praise transcended cultural, racial, and language boundaries.
    I remember this day as a taste of heaven. The fellowship and praise transcended cultural, racial, and language boundaries. We shared a connection deeper than the things that so often isolate us from each other. Barriers were not torn down, they were simply lost in the presence of Christ. What made this Sunday special was that it was not a special Sunday — this was not a worldwide conference or seminar, we were just believers on our way to different places brought together by our love for God and his people.

    Today, as I once again listened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his “I Have a Dream” speech, I was reminded about the dream Jesus showed to John on the island of Patmos. John saw a vision of heaven in which people from every race, tribe, nation, and language were joined together around the throne shouting praises to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 7:9-10). On a hot muggy Sunday in Bangkok, Thailand, my son and I got to taste a bit of that dream coming true. The memory of that little taste of heaven makes yearn for the day when it is fully true. It energizes me to the task of making Jesus’ dream, and final words, come true in our generation:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

    It’s hard not to dream such dreams when you’ve had a little taste of heaven.


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