Monday, November 18, 2019
God's Promise of Peace
I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” Isaiah 60:17b-22
Apostle John Remembers the Promise
And the city has no need of sun or moon,
for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The
nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city
in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end
of day because there is no night there. And all the nations
will bring their glory and honor into the city.
The picture of an untroubled existence, where there are no mass shootings at malls or schools, and where there is no threat of war or climate catastrophes is more than a welcome thought; it is the longing of people everywhere who possess sanity. There is no scenario for anyone of good will and conscience that includes conflict, strife, and killing. For those who follow Christ, He who is named Prince of Peace, this is our focal point of eternity – living in peace and righteousness with our loving God.
For as long as I can remember whenever this subject surfaces, whether in church as a sermon or study…or in a casual conversation…or just a time of private study, my heart goes into longing mode. That is to say, I get a longing for Beulah Land, that sweet, un-shadowed and restful place where things make sense and the tears have been wiped away.
And, truth be told, it’s way more than longing; I get impatient. I think of Grandma Schmidt’s sweet smile, and that starched apron on my cheek when she hugged a three-year-old. I think of her daughter, my Mom, before I was old enough to go to school, and we would pass afternoons on a rainy-day making cupcakes or reading a story together. And I think about the family I’ve not yet met, Grandma’s parents and their grandparents…and theirs…and theirs, and how the family came about all the way back to Adam and Eve.
While nostalgic remembrances like these are part of memory trips and rainy afternoons, they are also the prods to spiritual inventory and reshaping what will happen with our lives tomorrow. The meaningful ways we remember our lives is what compels us to make that meaning holy in the sight of our Redeemer. In short, as apostle Paul put it, we respond to the call of God on our life:
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Ephesians 4:1
The thoughts of family reunion in glory are wonderful. But they are only a pale foreshadow of spending the first ten thousand years getting to know the One who died for me, rose so I could too, and is working on my heavenly home right this moment!