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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Best Times of Our Lives

Several years ago, Jim Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On the night he was inducted, Kelly celebrated with friends at a local hotel in Canton, Ohio, where the Hall of Fame is located.

Many stars from great Buffalo teams of the past were present. Also present were coaches like Marv Levy and several of his assistants. They all enjoyed themselves greatly renewing old relationships and swapping stories.

Someone noticed several flashes from a nearby doorway. He went to investigate. Inside the hallway were dozens of Buffalo Bills fans; they were straining to see inside so they could take photographs of their heroes.

Hall of Famer Bruce Smith noticed the fans and encouraged them to come inside. Players and coaches gathered together so the fans could take pictures. However, the crowd grew so large, Jim Kelly suggested they move out to a nearby ballroom.

The crowd swelled to the point where hundreds of fans were taking photos. Players, coaches, and fans intermingled, swapping stories, encouraging each other, and just simply enjoying each other's fellowship.

Bill Polian had been the general manager of the Buffalo franchise during the glory years, when they won four AFC championships in a row. A couple introduced themselves to him and requested that he pose for a picture with them.

Bill Polian was confused by all of the attention from the fans. He felt compelled to ask, "... why is there so much excitement over this? I mean, I understand Jim [Kelly] is who Jim is, and what he's done for Buffalo..."

The wife cut them off. "You must understand: that was the happiest time of our lives. We just wanted to be close to you guys again."

I think fellowship with Jesus and his family should be like this. The Peace Offering in Leviticus 3 was to be a time of celebration and fellowship between God’s chosen people, His priests, and God Himself.

The Peace Offering anticipated the New Covenant’s worship assembly on the Lord’s Day. On Sundays, we gather together with others who are passionate and celebrate the success of Jesus. This guy is a conqueror; this guy is a superhero. We fellowship with each other, we eat with each other, we commune with each other—and with God.

On Sundays, we honor the Father for Christ’s exploits. And gathering together in this event that we call the worship assembly, where we honor God, we feel great joy being in the company of one another. We laugh, sing, celebrate, commiserate, and we experience true fellowship.

All of this anticipates an even greater celebration of fellowship in heaven. And who knows? Perhaps, there, we will declare that these worship assemblies were the best times of our lives.

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