Monday, December 2, 2013

I Cannot (only) Imagine

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. -1 Corinthians 2:9

I have a great imagination. I have imagined a gangster named Draco Vesuvius; the life of an Israelite warrior; a college girl who stalks her professor (not as sinister as it sounds).

File:St. Edwards Krone (Nachbildung auf den Bahamas).jpg

Here is a picture of St. Edward's crown, part of the crown jewels of England. If I were to describe it to you: the heavy gold setting, its ermine and satin lining, the precious stones of jasper, carnelian, ruby, emerald and diamond, could you picture it in your mind's eye? To be honest, even this picture does not do justice to what the reality must be like, does it?

In Revelation 21:10-27, the New Jerusalem, the Bride, the wife of Christ is shown coming down to earth out of heaven. The description of its jeweled foundations, the pure crystalline gold of its very streets, the pearl settings of its gates, and above all the brightness of the glory of the presence of God stagger the imagination.

Like Bunyan's Pilgrim, we long to see it, to be there in God's presence. Yet I am almost afraid to dishonor the scriptural image with my own pallid imaginings. But I feel just a little bit guilty that my desire for heaven does not include a desire to imagine (or speculate) on what it must be like.

R.C. Sproul Jr. made a comment that I find helpful: "We are indeed on a journey. But we are going to a Person more than a place."

I have fellowship with the Christ of God in the here and now. I cannot hope to conjure the beauty and glory of heaven in my feeble imagination. But I can desire in its richness and fullness the promised fulfillment of the present reality: God with us.

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