The book of Revelation really excites me. There’s scary things in there and confusing things that I don’t understand, but the important part- the ultimate message of the story- is that God wins! And we get to be on the winning team! I think heaven will be awesome: I can’t wait to get there.
Revelation 5:9-10 “And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.””
What creates a sense of camaraderie? I hope everyone reading this has at some point in their lives had a group of people that they were close to and felt a strong connection to. I have had that in a couple different contexts, and there’s nothing like it in the world. The most intimate, powerful bond comes from undergoing a grueling, shared experience where you have to lean on each other for support. I think it’s why Basic Training in the military is such a big deal: after going through the “initiation”, if I could be forgiven for characterizing it as that, you feel a powerful bond with the others who’ve done the same thing, and come through the other end of the crucible. Veterans after a war, a sports team that wins a championship, a small working team that accomplished something great; they all share a sense of camaraderie based on something they experienced and/or accomplished together.
I’m excited about heaven because we’ll spend eternity bumping into people who used to live on earth: spoke different languages, lived in different centuries, some of them will have lived totally, utterly different lives than I do today. We’ll all have very different experiences from each other. I think, however, that when we get there the most powerful feeling for each other will be the same camaraderie I was describing, though; every person I meet who spoke a different language on earth or lived in a different century will have been saved by the same grace, will have struggled against most of the same sins, and will be in awe of the same God as I am. Life in these mortal bodies on Earth will have been a crucible (we could even call it a “Basic Training” I suppose) that we all will have shared, and will remember with mixed emotions. “Remember having headaches?”, we’ll ask each other, and laugh at how our bodies don’t even feel pain anymore, but it was such a big part of life back on earth. “Did you ever try to lick your elbow? Why did God make our noses run when we got sick? Why on earth did God invent hiccups, anyway?” Some of these universal human emotions and experiences will be remembered with nostalgia, and will be a bond that will link me with monks from the Middle Ages, and Armenian Christians persecuted by the Persian empire during the days of Rome, and Israelites who lived under King David. It’ll be so much fun to compare notes and swap stories.
And in the midst of it all, in some way that I don’t pretend to understand, God will give us new things to accomplish and work to do. We will be “a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and [to] reign on the earth.”What that will be like I can only imagine, but I think it’ll be awesome. Maranatha, Lord Jesus!