In Fenway as it is in Heaven

By Colin Campbell
By Barb Harris
By Mark Mercer
By Sereena Bexley
By Vennecia Jackson
By Mary Lata Thottukadavil
By Michael Agnew
By Zabdi Piña
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By John Hames
By Makenzie Romero
By Caroline Khameneh
By Victoria Renken
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Lori Kuykendall
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Jessie Yearwood
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Sandhya Curran
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Alf Laukoter
By Neil Wiersum
By Jim Henry
By Jenn Wright
By Kevin Harwood
By Nandi Roszhart
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Kristi Herring
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Melanie Mechsner
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Nat Pugh
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Catherine Boyle
By Catherine & Elizabeth Downing
By Gerald Ridgway
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith
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The sun was nearly setting after a warm summer day in 2012 as I experienced my first major league baseball game in person. Walking eagerly into Fenway Park with my freshly purchased paraphernalia, all of my senses were locked in and I joined strangers in rooting for our home team, the Boston Red Sox. I was first welcomed by the overwhelming aroma of ballpark franks, spilled lager, and overpriced popcorn. Strangers wearing similar Red Sox colors hurried past me to find their seats hoping to get a glimpse of the hero whose jersey they proudly sported. The phrase “Get your franks here!” became the white noise to the entire evening. Once we managed to find our seats, we waited with anticipation to see our heroes—David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. We joined our section in cheering for Big Papi as he stepped up to the plate. At the bottom of the 8th inning, we belted “Sweet Caroline” along with our neighbors with whom we shared the occasional sticky elbow tap. Fans united for one cause: to root for our home team.

From that night forward, I became enamored with the Red Sox. Living halfway across the country has only strengthened my bond to Fenway and the Green Monster. The emotions, sights, and sounds of my first visit to Fenway are engraved in my heart forever. The unity among diverse people and the recognition of greatness were undoubtedly minuscule and paled in comparison to eternal future realities, but they were glimpses of what John describes in Revelation 4 and 5.

In Revelation 4, John describes the scene in Heaven before the Throne of God. He then recounts the reaction of every living creature in Heaven and on earth—worship. In the end, peace that was once broken will be restored and, namely, the rightful recognition of God’s glory will return to its place above all creation. In this scene, The Almighty comes centerfold, and he is given his due praise.

Living in an overstimulating world sending us constant marketing, notifications, and subliminal messaging often successfully captivates our gaze to insignificant things. Revelation 4 shows us what a world without such insignificance would look like. We will be able to rightfully recognize and worship God. My heart just leaps for joy thinking that I will no longer have to worry about being tired or anxious and I can simply just worship God. There is no distraction and no question about who deserves the glory or why. It belongs to God and it is gladly given.

The once young man, who brought us the loving Jesus in his account of the Gospel, sets the stage for his audience to behold and exalt the once slaughtered Lamb, now risen Savior. In Revelation 5, John realizes no one is worthy to open the seals on the book, one of the elders points to Jesus. He is worthy. As Tim Keller says, He lived a life we could not live and died the death we should have died.

These chapters reveal to us that people from diverse backgrounds will be united for the sole purpose of worshiping the one and only worthy Almighty God. The Savior’s work surpassed cultures, altering eternal realities for people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation.

Disunity has existed since the fall of man. The differentiation between “us” and “them” is used from trivial board games to critical conversations of race. Turning on any news channel, especially in recent years, reveals the unfortunate depth of disunity in our nation. Political, religious, and social disunity are constantly in rotation in the news circuit. It is disheartening to see and overwhelming to experience disunity because it was never meant to be this way. Thankfully, God will not allow human history to end with what we see today. Revelation 5 shows us precisely this.

When I see another name as a hashtag, I weep to God for unity. As I watch believers publicize their “deconversion” stories on social media, I plead to God for worship. His word, especially Revelation 4 and 5 gives me the hope I need to defy and look beyond current events. His word gives me compassion, hope and strength to press on. The compassion enables me to weep with those who weep. The hope gives me the courage I need to navigate uncertain situations. The strength empowers me to engage in difficult conversations.

As I think back to that summer evening at Fenway Park, I think of the beauty in unity and worship that I encountered. Baseball is a great sport—and thank God for it—but it is just a sport. Can you imagine the rush we will feel as we hear the words “Well done my good and faithful servant,” and are ushered through those pearly gates? Can you picture the nations gathered to worship the One True Savior?

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