We used to sing a song in Sunday school called Heaven is a Wonderful Place. The gang from Psalty the Singing Song Book would sing about a place filled with glory and grace and Jesus.
After college, as I read more and matured, my view of heaven shifted from a place we go to a restoration of what God has given us. A place filled with glory and grace? Isn’t that what Jesus called us to do, here and now, on this earth? Or, I love N.T. Wright’s image of a place of rest before the restoration.
My maternal grandmother died this week. She was 92 years old, missed my grandfather for the past 12 years, and was ready to see Jesus. And I’ve found that all my intellectual images of heaven leave and I hope that she is actually seeing Jesus and my grandpa and her brother and sister and friends who have gone on before her. I want her to be dancing and eating incredible foods.
Those images give me comfort and hope. But I still grapple with the idea of heaven as our only future goal. What about this earth God gave us? What does John 3:16 mean when it says,
God so loved the world
It doesn’t say God just loved humanity or God just loved Christians. It says God loved this world. It reminds me that, while I do long for heaven and restoration, I also long for restoration now. And maybe that’s what the glory of heaven is. Finally seeing that restoration.
How has your view of heaven changed as your faith has grown? What gives you comfort?
Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “future.”