Reading: Revelation 22: 1-5
This final chapter of the Bible provides a beautiful image of heaven. God and Jesus seated on the throne will be the center piece of the city. All will serve and worship them and all will be marked as their children. Out of the throne will flow a beautiful river, crystal clear, carrying the water of life. Along the banks of this river will stand the tree of life. The tree of life will bear twelve crops in the twelve months and the tree’s leaves will bring healing to all nations or peoples. The light and warmth that basks this scene will come from God.
Revelation 22 indeed paints an amazing picture of the new heaven. It is a place one is drawn to, a place one yearns to be present in. The promises of complete healing, of being constantly in God’s presence, the beauty that will be the new Jerusalem – all draw one towards eternity.
Yet this idea of finally getting ‘there’ can distract us from this life. While living with one eye on eternity can help keep us focused on how we are called to live in this world, all of our focus on eternity can cause us to look past what God has placed before us in this life. On the other extreme, if life here is instead consumed by making the next step up the ladder of success, God has almost no role in our life. When we are focused almost exclusively on the next promotion, the next new car or home, the next gadget, then the role of God in our life is minimal or nonexistent.
May we instead live life with the knowledge of our eternal home in mind while being fully present and attentive to God’s hand at work in this life. May we trust in His plan and in His love both in this life and the next.