Monday of Pentecost 2 – Prayer of the Week

O God, You have prepared for those who love You such good things as surpass our understanding. Cast all sins and evil desires from us, and pour into our hearts Your Holy Spirit to guide us into all blessedness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

In his short fantasy book entitled “The Great Divorce,” C. S. Lewis imagines that there is a bus line which runs from hell to heaven. People can board the bus, driven by an angel, and ride to the gates of heaven. There they will meet someone from their own past, but who is a resident of heaven. It is a fanciful story. The grass in heaven is so much more real that the people of hell have a hard time walking on it. It pokes their feet. At the end of the story, the narrator is given to turn around and see hell. It is nothing but a little crack in the ground outside the gates of heaven.

Lewis is asking us to imagine something. What do you imagine will be the most different about heaven from earth? Let us dispense with the silly notions of many people that it will be a place of clouds, harps, haloes, and transparent, ethereal people singing in eternal choirs. This is not a biblical picture at all. Indeed, the Scriptures point us toward Eden restored, a place with lions, tigers, and bears, but no one is afraid of them.

I think, though, that the greatest changes we will notice about heaven will be those inside ourselves. We pray in this prayer that God would cast out from us all sins and evil desires, replacing them with a fullness of the Spirit to guide into blessedness. We will simply no longer be fighting or succumbing to the greed, self-interest, and warped understanding of this world. Can you even imagine a world in which people simply try their best to keep the Ten Commandments and other rules? What about a world in which we really did think it was better to give than to receive? What would living in that sort of a world look like?

God has begun a good work in us which he brings to completion on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).  He is making your ready for heaven itself.

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