“The Sovereign Lord declares — he who gathers the exiles of Israel: ‘I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.’” — Isaiah 56:8 (NIV)
There is an inevitable temptation that comes our way once we are redeemed and added to God’s Kingdom. It is the temptation to believe all the work is done. Like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, in awe and at peace, he said to Jesus, “It is good to be here! Let’s build three tents; one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Indeed it is good to be in the presence of the God of your redemption. It is awe-inspiring and peaceful at the same time. Moses knew the feeling from Mount Sinai. Elijah knew the feeling from Mount Carmel. Jesus, too, must have felt at home as He was there transfigured and reunited with His heavenly friends Moses and Elijah.
So, someone tell me again, why is this a temptation? Because there are others who need to be brought to this place and God needs us to spread the good news. Moses and Elijah understood that one can’t stay in that blissful place for long. We all have to go back into the world again. But listen! We do not go back into the world thinking that was a nice once-in-a-lifetime experience and it’s all downhill from here. We go back into the world knowing that there are others God wants to reach with His redemption so they can spend the rest of eternity in this bliss with you. We go back knowing that the Lord will supply other blissful moments during our lifetime. He provides us an opportunity to worship in His sanctuary every Sunday.
But right now, others need to be gathered. Right now, we are like people on a search-and-rescue boat going out into the rough waters to save and redeem those who are drowning. We willingly leave the comforts behind to do this good work. But the comforts are never really behind. They will always be in our hearts and in our minds. Not only that, they are certainly in our eternal future.
Today, let’s play our part in this rescue mission.