July 30, 2020 – Revelation 22:3-9
What will heaven be like? Surely, this is a question most — if not all — of us have asked. Sometimes it is pondered with the playful, energetic curiosity of a child. Sometimes it is asked from a place of deep desperation and grief. No matter the circumstance, it is always an important question, and the answer God has for us is always satisfying and good — beyond our wildest imagination.
This passage from Revelation is part of that answer. I heard one pastor reflect on the words of Revelation by saying that the weight of what is being described breaks the backs of the words being used. That is what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 2:8-9 when he says the rulers (all the important and wise people) of this world are completely clueless about the mystery of God, and he recalls the words of Isaiah 64, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Isaiah 65 says that the new heavens and the new earth that God is going to create are going to be so glorious that the former things won’t even be remembered or given any thought.
Breathe it in. Come to God with a childlike faith that doesn’t fret about what it can’t understand. Instead of worry, come to the questions of life with a playful, energetic curiosity of a child. If we don’t, we are in danger of missing the whole point. All of our self-important sophistication will actually blind us from the truth it promises to give. We spend all of our time jockeying for position only to find we were fighting to the wrong end of the line. The mother of two disciples, James and John, was doing just that when she asked Jesus if her boys could have a position of authority in the kingdom of God. Don’t pick on her; we all have a self-concerned version of her inside ourselves. We all crave recognition, we all loath powerlessness, we all long and fight to be important.
Heaven is about all of that being turned on its head. Heaven is about the freedom to be childlike. Heaven is about being so conscious of God that the former things we cared about are no longer remembered or given any thought.
Questions for reflection:
- Where does my importance come from? How have I earned it?
- What will be written on my head in heaven? What is the significance of that?
- What does it mean that in heaven there will no longer be any night nor sun? What will be our source of light?
- What does it mean that we are the light of the world here and now? What does that have to do with heaven?