By Anthony Casperson
Often in the realms of comic book superheroes there happen these events known as crossovers. Typically, some circumstances happen that are too large for just one hero, or group of heroes, to handle. And thus, various heroes from their own specific comic books come together to play out a story that overarches their various series. And throughout the various comics, the heroes overcome the specific circumstances that led them to join forces.
But the best crossover events happen when the heroes don’t return to the status quo of their own comics. Rather, these have long reaching effects that change the way the individual characters work. This can be like the Avengers coming together and realizing that a team of superheroes is a good idea. Or it can be some universe-shattering event that changes the whole publishers’ universe, like DC’s Flashpoint Event.
But regardless of the extent of the long-lasting change, the effects of the crossover event dramatically change those who participate in it. And those who are in contact with the participants tend to have to adapt as well to the new circumstances. It’s inevitable because of the nature of crossover events. But superheroes are not the only ones who can have crossovers.
Last night, I attended one such crossover. Three different churches, who all serve the same area, came together to join forces in worshiping God. And in that intermixing of fellow followers of Jesus we were called to join together, not just that night, but from then on, to be a light in the darkness. We were called to unify in such a way that those who are not followers of Jesus might see the truth of the cross.
With the events of last night, I believe it to be more than possible. While we were singing praise to God, we invited the Spirit to come among us. During that time, I felt the presence of the Spirit. In my mind’s eye, I saw the Spirit descend upon us and tremble as he did over the waters of the earth in Gen. 1:2. He moved among us like a mist. Filling us, as he passed through us all, to empower the songs we sang, the prayers we prayed, and the fellowship we had.
But the highlight of the night for me came a little later in our time together. One song passed our lips that caused most people to have to move. Clapping to the beat of the song, the sound reverberated the room. Some people jumped with such fervor that I could literally feel the floor move. But as the image of the lyrics faded from my vision, another image came.
I saw the praises of we followers of Jesus lift beyond the building we inhabited. The city quickly faded as the resonance rose beyond the atmosphere. Moving beyond even the realm of time, the image rested upon the angelic beings before God. They clapped in time and raised their voices along with ours. They jumped and danced. And following their line of sight, the image shifted to the throne.
God himself danced and clapped in time with us. And the words of Luke 15:10 interwove with the melody we sang. “I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Before his angels, the creator of the universe rejoiced as we repented of our tunnel vision, our inward-looking focus that ignorantly believes we can perform the work of God by ourselves.
We followers of Jesus tend to have a mindset that forgets the Church is more than just one group of people, or one denomination. The Body of Christ is made up not only of those who are physically in the same location we are on Sunday morning, but all who proclaim the truth of the cross of Jesus.
Let us all raise our voices in unity proclaiming the truth of the cross. When we prove the love we have for one another in unity, God will work. He’ll rejoice in our praise. And he’ll work in the lives of those who are not yet followers of Jesus, bringing them to the salvation that comes only through faith in the event of the cross.