Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jeremiah 26:1-16; Psalms 131, 132, 133; Romans 11:1-12; John 10:19-42

When I was a child, I dreamed that heaven would be a huge library where I would have the leisure to read every book in the world ever written. As time has passed, that dream has grown to a wider idea of Paradise, one with plenty of trees and sunlight and all my dear friends and family to be with.

But ultimately, I have come to realize that this is a very self-centered view of heaven. Heaven is not to be a place where humans can get everything they want. Or rather it is, but who amongst us, if we examine ourselves with perfect honesty will not say that what they actually want, beneath the layers of materialism and selfishness, is unity? All people want to be a part of something larger than themselves – two rather than one, or thousands rather than two. Everyone wants to be so unified with someone that they will understand them perfectly. Most people turn to other people or organizations for such companionship, but as Christians we must recognize that no human can fulfill that need for unity perfectly. Only God can and does. Having created us, he knows the pattern of ourselves better than even we do.

Psalms 131, 132, and 133 are all cries from men to be unified with God. They brim with longing for his presence and blessings. And God replies that he will give them all they ask and more, that he will remain amongst the men who love him forever, beside their selves and inside their hearts. He promises that the men who love him will dwell with him forever in heaven, not with the things they think they want, but with what they actually crave: the unity and understanding that come with everlasting life given in perfect love.

O our God, we pray that you strengthen us in the constancy of our faith, that at the end of days we may join you in perfect unity for your glory. Amen.

Kate Strong

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