Nope, not at my church...not my Pastor. He brings out the big guns on Easter. Me and all the captive Christers are settled in after singing way too many hymns and praises and he begins a 30 minute (30 minutes on Easter? Really?) impassioned message on Heaven and Hell. Yes, Hell. Talk about your basic fire and brimstone...he even had me wiggling in my seat! But ya gotta love him (and I do!), there's no sugar coating the Gospel message, and if you didn't leave the service wondering if you might be going "down there", you probably fell asleep somewhere between Hades and Christ's resurrection.
But it got me thinking (again!) about Heaven. As believers, we know that our time here on earth is limited and somewhat short compared to the infinitesimal lengths of eternity. We bounce around down here, looking for parts and pieces of heaven on earth, knowing in our hearts nothing can compare or even come close. We covet, we envy, we plan, we groan. And yes, our doubts creep to the surface..what if this is all there is? I'm gonna be really bored if I have to sing on a cloud all day...
The truth is we don't really know what Heaven is or what it will be like, we "can only imagine", as the song goes. I read a book a few years back called The Sacred Romance. The authors, Brent Curtis and John Eldridge, spend quite some time talking about how we have a stunted view of Heaven, and thus we live our lives here on earth constantly struggling to create it.
"When we do get a taste of what we really long for it never lasts. Every vacation eventually comes to an end. Friends move away. Out careers don't quite pan out. Sadly, we feel guilty about our disappointment, as though we ought to be more grateful. Of course we're disappointed - we're made for so much more, 'He has set eternity in the hearts,' (Eccl. 3:11)."
If indeed we can't out dream God, then what should our vision of Heaven be? The authors contend that it will be something bigger than our wildest imaginations. It will offer our hearts those things that we long for here on earth - intimacy, beauty and adventure. We are, after all, His Beloved.
"All we long for we shall have; all we long to be, we will be. All that has hurt us so deeply -
the dragon and the nits, the Arrows and our false lovers, and Satan himself -
they will all be swept away. And then the real life begins."
Can I hear an Amen?
Is your view of Heaven too small? Go ahead, little grasshopper...dream a little over that cup of coffee this morning. What will be in your view?
Laurel. Live large, dream bigger.