Thoughts about the cross … about the life of the “church militant” … about the realities of life in the battle, can take up a majority of my thinking. It seems there’s always something that reminds me that I haven’t “died and gone to heaven”. For example, this morning I discovered a bag of M&M’s from my Advent Angel (I love M&M’s) and I had just given up candy for Advent…. auuuuugh. Back in the day it seemed like every time I decided to go on a diet, I would go into work and someone would bring in donuts…I mean really excellent bakery donuts. Well, while those are fairly trivial examples, there are also many serious examples of sorrow and sickness and death that remind me of this reality…. we’re still in the battle.
But frequently I also get reminded of eternal life, life to come with God in heaven. Today’s readings from Isaiah had a number of wonderful reminders. “…for I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and its people to be a delight” (Is. 65:18-19) What a beautiful phrase… God’s plan is for our life to be a joy….”joy, a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”. And listen to Isaiah 25….
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples… a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy rich food and pure choice wines…. He will destroy death forever… the Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. On that day it will be said, behold our God, to whom we looked to save us.” (Is. 25:6-10)
What a beautiful description of what our life in heaven…eternal life… will be like. It speaks to our senses and our spirit…..”juicy rich food and pure choice wines”…..destruction of the terrible curse of death…. no more sorrow and its accompanying companions of depression and fear and tears. Wow, eternal life is not going to be a continuation of the church militant…always in a battle, always suffering. No, eternal life is the life of the Church Triumphant” !!!
It will be a life of joy, of great pleasure and happiness, of being with the Lord God Almighty…experiencing his perfect love…seeing him ‘face to face”. Words are inadequate to describe it…but it is going to be pure joy!!!
So, let’s keep fighting the good fight of faith even when it may mean missing out on some “M&M’s or donuts” and let’s keep our eyes on the prize…. “life on high with Jesus Christ”. It is going to be great . It is going to be PURE JOY.