Things Not In Heaven

I love Christmas time. It is a time of hope, because it points us back to Jesus. I love the lights, the sounds, and the festive colors of this time of year. It’s something about all of it that can often times take me out of a grumpy mood and put a smile on my face. I know this year is different. People have been talking about how Christmas is going to be different this year. Obviously, I understand they are talking about restrictions and things dealing with COVID-19. I think it is going to be a little different for another reason. I think because of all the events of this year, people are going to not take time with family and friends for granted as we tend to do. In a normal year, we often complain about all of the places we have to go during the Christmas season. We have office Christmas parties, extra church events and services, and multiple family gatherings we need to get to. It can be stressful and yes a little frustrating at times. Yet, I believe it will probably be a little different this year, or at least I hope it will be. All of it makes me long for what John saw in a vision in Revelation 21. John wrote, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with Him, and they shall be His people. God Himself will dwell with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away.'”

At this point in the book of Revelation, sin has fully and finally been dealt with. God is revealing His new creation in all of its beauty. All of the pain and suffering that has been brought on because of sin will be no more. Everything will be just as God intended for it to be. The greatest part of it is found in the opening of verse 3, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men.” This isn’t talking about a building. Rather, it is talking about a Person. It is talking about Jesus. In the presence of Jesus there will be no death, sorrow, crying, or pain. Can you imagine a day in which we don’t talk about COVID-19, cancer, death, suffering, injustice, or anything bad? A day in which the most beautiful sunrise or sunset now would pale in comparison. A day in which we walk and talk with Jesus all day with uninterrupted fellowship and communion with Him. All of this and more is awaiting the person who surrenders in faith to Jesus, believing that His death and resurrection are the means by which you are saved. The person who understands that no amount of good works or good intentions could outweigh the ugliness of the sin that is in us. The person who lives in daily dependence upon God and His power to live for Him. 2020 has been hard, and we have no idea what 2021 will bring; but child of God, lift up your eyes and your voice, praise your Savior fully knowing that there is a better day coming. Until that day arrives, let’s not cease telling those around us about the goodness and the glory of God, and how they too can be saved and look forward to this day. Merry Christmas Eve!

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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