“Is everything sad going to come untrue?” (Sam Gamgee to Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings)
“[Some mortals] say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” (C.S. Lewis)
There are words that do not exist in Heaven. Words that are not uttered. Sickness. Poverty. Pain. Disease. Disability. Death. The moment we step into eternity they will all fall away. There is no place for them, no memory of them left in Heaven. Here on earth though, we look around and the evidence of the fallen world is everywhere. Those words that bring such pain and devastation are spoken, endured and lived with.
But the promise that we have in Jesus, is that there will be a new day and those words will cease to exist. Our pain will be non-existent, not even a memory. Every sad thing will come untrue.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21: 4-5
On earth as it is in Heaven – for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Come Lord Jesus.
“Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East.”
Helm’s Deep. Trapped. A dwindling, weakening army. Looking out across a formidable enemy. Staring at defeat, imminent death. And then the sun begins to rise. And the words of Gandalf echo in their minds “look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East.” Hope begins to rise in the hearts of the men (and elves, hobbits and dwarves!) And sure enough as the sun rises much needed help arrives. The tide turns on this battle and the orcs are defeated.
Hope is a powerful force. It gives us strength to hang in there, to carry on, to hold on. As Christians, hope encourages our faith and helps us persevere. But this hope is not just wishful thinking, fledgling or weak. Nor is it a hope that can be shattered due to the frailty of man. This hope is secure, assured and strong. This hope we have is in Christ. Easter assures us that we can have a hope that will not waiver for Christ laid down His life for us and was victorious in conquering death and hell. Christ’s death and Resurrection means that life is now lived from victory. Through Christ our salvation is certain.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
The trend for movies these days seem to be trilogies. 3 part stories that have us counting down the months till the next instalment. The Lord of the Rings is one of these. Then to add to the suspense once all 3 movies have been released, there’s always a back story that then comes out. As it turns out The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring was not the start of the story. The story actually begins with a Hobbit and a band of dwarves long before “that” ring is found.
We can be mistaken too thinking that Christmas is the start of the story of God’s plan for redemption of mankind. How could it not be – it’s a baby making its entrance to the world. Jesus – a babe in a manger, God with us. But really it’s episode 2. The start of the story begins before even the foundation of time. God knew then, before He’d created us that we’d sin, that we fall away and turn our backs on Him, so He put in place a magnificent plan – He would come to earth and bring us home.
Christmas is about breakthrough, about Heaven invading earth. It is about the commitment of our God to not lose us. It is a demonstration of His love for us through the vulnerability of entrusting His Son to our world as a baby. To continue that journey of reconciliation and then the ultimate sacrifice as Jesus laid His life down for us to ensure that we can always find home.
Maybe for you Christmas feels like episode 1 – a new beginning, a realisation of the love of God for through a baby in a manger. Maybe you’ve experienced the whole story of reconciliation and this Christmas is a reminder. Where ever you’re at, I encourage you this Christmas to discover the love of God for you – new or anew. To know that Christmas is one part of a magnificent story, that trumps any blockbuster movie out there. God breaks through from Heaven into earth and brings Heaven to us.
And not wanting to spoil the ending – it is happy! It is eternal, it is God with us.
May you know the love of God this Christmas and evermore.