As a parent of a two year old and a four year old, I can’t exactly say that everything about the last few days we spent at Disney reminded me of heaven. The heat, aggravated people, and cost of it all might just call to mind another place quite opposite of heaven. But in all of the heat and busyness of Disney, there was one moment while we were there that sparked a longing for heaven for me. There was this area in Animal Kingdom were some performers were leading a crowd in an African song and dance. It wasn’t on the program. You couldn’t find it on the map. It was one of those things they plan to seem like it wasn’t planned. As the guys started singing, dancing and playing drums a crowd formed around them. People started joining in. The people from the crowd were dancing the dance they saw the men dancing. They were singing the song they heard the men singing. Everyone was smiling, laughing and moving to the beat.
It was really pretty amazing to watch. The more I thought about it my amazement shifted from its entertainment value to the underlying reality of what was actually happening. It was a unifying moment. These people were from all over the world. Some of them couldn’t even speak to each other because of the multiplicity of languages you hear walking the streets at Disney. But for that moment they were unified, dancing the same dance and singing the same song and all having so much fun. There was a magnetism about it all as you heard the fun and wanted to see what was going on. It made you want to be there. It made you enjoy life. It allowed you to see the celebration of an extremely diverse crows that had nothing more in common except for wanting to spend some family day at Disney and they got drawn into a moment of unity and celebration.
I wish I could tell you that I joined in the dance. Even though Missy begged me to jump in there, I didn’t. But what I observed reminded me of heaven – a place where people of all backgrounds, languages and cultures get together to laugh, dance and celebrate. It made me wonder how awesome the spontaneous moments of celebration will be. It had me wondering how magnetic Jesus must be. It made me long for heaven and reminded me of these words from scripture,
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” – 1 Cor 12:12-14
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.” – Rev 7:9-10