September 23, 2021
Scripture: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4 ESV
Observation: The above verses are part of a passage often read at a memorial service of a deceased loved one. Understandably, John’s revelation of the glorious new heaven and earth at the end of the age would bring comfort to bereaving family and friends. Indeed, their loved one (assuming he or she knows and loves Jesus) is now free of all pain (physical, emotional, psychological), for they are with the Father and Son celebrating with the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). And their affection is no longer divided between family, friends, and their Creator. Instead, they are experiencing pure joy at the feast of the Lamb of God.
Takeaway: Jesus corrected the Sadducees’ question regarding marriage in heaven by pointing out that there are no marital relationships in God’s kingdom (Mark 12:25) other than the intimate relationship between the saints and their bridegroom, Jesus. This truth may make some of us feel sad. But the glimpse of godly love we experience in earthly relationships is perfected in the new heaven. While we will no longer be parents or siblings, we will be part of one glorious community of saints who perfectly love their Lord and one another. So let’s not hold too tightly to our earthly relationships, for pure joy awaits us!
Prayer: Father God, please grant us the grace to love our family and friends without fear of their loss. Instead, help us keep an eternal perspective of the pure joy that awaits all our loved ones who know and love Jesus. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling