Just think of stepping on shore—and finding it heaven!
Of touching a hand—and finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air—and finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory—and finding it home! (L.E. Singer and Don Wyrtzen)
In the aftermath of sin, rebellion, death, and hell being cast headlong into eternal fire – along with the satan, the antichrist and the false prophet – John the Revelator opens the next scene with the transitional word “Then”1 –
Καί tells every worn-down, battle-weary, hanging-by-a-thread saint of a whole new dawn, a burst of sun after a long, perilous night, and the penultimate realization of a desperate soul’s most ardent desire.
In a little while, [you] will flee from a world of sin, infirmity, and strife – from all its taintings, woundings, and misunderstandings, and find yourself playing upon the surface and plunging into the depths of the ocean of love that flows and sparkles beneath and around the throne of God and the Lamb.”
– Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
The Psalmist said of the refugees returning to their homeland after a 70-year diaspora that they were
“like those who dream…” (Psa 126:1)
Lets think about those refugees for a moment; walk in their dusty soles and find a point of contact if we may. Do you ever feel displaced? (My mind immediately runs to Germany in the 30’s when Jews were rounded up, forced into settlements – ‘ghettos’ – and miserably awaited their turns on the cattle cars)
Homeless. Hopeless. Herded from their Goshen and forced to step on Treblinka’s soil. Asleep in Beth-el, only to wake up in Babylon.
That sense of displacement – the deep-down scratching of alienness – is a reminder we’re not made for this world but have all the factory inputs for a new heaven and a new earth. If I want to sell this iPhone I’m presently using to work on this draft, I’d first wipe everything and restore it to its factory settings.
We tend to accumulate a lot of data and applications that might be useful for this world, but not for the next, and saints instinctively know when a ‘dump’ is needed. When you’re hard-wired for glory, there is always going to be a quiet yearning for separation from this oppressive matrix and an insatiable craving for celestial air.
Eternity is our reset. It’s our homing beacon.
But just think of…
…those pilgrims crossing the last checkpoint of Babylon, cresting the highest peak of the mountains that frame the border of once-home, their stepping onto familiar soil, stooping to kiss the ground, breathing in the sacred air…
Do you dream of what awaits? Does it capture your imagination? Are you holding your breath for the sacred conjunctive
that is coming?
Perchance are you loosening the load, dumping the excess, resetting to your Maker’s specs, and sighting in on Beulah? Are you like those who dream?
Are you the least bit homesick?
1 Rev 21:1