Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son to lead home His bride, the Church, that with all the company of the redeemed we may finally enter into His eternal wedding feast; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Are you excited for heaven? My conversations with Christians have, over the years, suggested that many of us have the sort of attitude about heaven as the young man in the pew in the picture. They know they are supposed to go and are supposed to like it, but they are having a hard time coming up with much enthusiasm.
I think some of that is due to the image we have of heaven as some eternal church service. Do not get me wrong. I like going to church. I would not be excited about an eternity of going to church either. Have we allowed people to think that heaven is boring?
Notice that the prayer compares the last day to an eternal wedding feast. I am not sure where the idea came from that heaven is an eternal worship service. I think it may have originated in John’s book of Revelation and the depiction of the people of God eternally praising God (Rev. 7 and 14.) The far more common depiction of heaven, however, is as a party. Jesus tells numerous party parables (e.g. Luke 15). Heaven is going to be a good time. It may not be the way Hollywood defines a good time, but the folks who are there will be having a great party. Even John’s depiction of the multitudes standing before the throne of God with palm branches in hand looks more like a rock concert than a church service to me.
We have come to the final weeks of the Church year and the readings for the next week will focus our attention on what is to come. What are you expecting? That is a good question to ask yourself in these days. That question might be sharpened by all that is going around us. The one who appears on that day is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, just to grab a few of his names. Our world right now could use some healthy direction, a good shot of truth telling, and the new keeps reminding us just how fragile our grasp on life really is. Spend a few minutes this day asking yourself what you are expecting. Read a little of the Gospels. He is coming.