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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Heaven’s Nostalgia

In heaven, who or what on earth would you miss most? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, p.1374).

I will begin by asking “What earthly characteristics would be least missed in heaven?”  Consider this from Revelation:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” 21:1-4 (NIV).

Consider the implications:  in heaven the brokenness of earth will have been left behind.  Certainly I will miss this aspect of earth the least.  We will have our existence in the midst of God’s holy light—in unadulterated love.  Adulterated love is tragically a main component of earth as we know it.  When we find a pure heart here, we know that we are witnessing a rare and precious jewel.  But in heaven we will not miss these jewels for they are characteristic there rather than exceptional.

Yet on earth we have many products of love.  There can be beauty and integrity in many creations of man.  These creations were born from the disciplines of love and become the products of generosity, skill, and sacrifice.  I will miss these most; partly because they were created from courage in the midst of adversity—whether beautiful music, art, architecture, industrial processes, government arrangements, family nurturing, scientific objectivity, economic entrepreneurship, creative insight, quiet philanthropy, or ennobling labor and its ingenious products—all enlisted for the betterment of life.  These are a tribute to and foreshadowing of the productivity of heaven.  In heaven I will have nostalgia for these things and plead with God to let me indulge such memories by helping further productions of love on earth.         

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