We have all heard it said that Heaven will be a place full of extraordinary surprises because we will all see people there who we did not expect to see. And many who are there will be quite surprised to see us in Heaven, too!
So the story goes. To most of us, Heaven will be full of the unexpected because we do not really believe what Jesus says (Matthew 8:11). And for far too many of us, Heaven will be shockingly diverse (Revelation 7:9) because many of us still think we have private claims on God. We simply do not fully understand, not yet.
Nevertheless, when we all get there, everyone will get along famously, even joyously, and that will be a big surprise, too.
But it’s not like Free Will is going to be zapped from our brains or like we will have forgotten our former lives of strife with each other, with the individuals who angered us, with the groups we despised, or with the nations we fought. No.
Fact is, those of us who get there will have finally Freely Chosen to put on our big boy and big girl spiritual pants.
In The Message version of holy scripture (Galatians 3:27), spiritual maturity is described as looking as if we have dressed up in clothes we chose from our “adult faith wardrobe” rather than from among our old worn out childish attire.
Dressed in our grown-up outfits in Heaven, we will be finally full of peace within ourselves and finally full of understanding and compassion for everyone around us, people from every tribe and nation.
We will have a heavenly alliance with everyone— even those we would have felt uncomfortable or even indignant being around, even those with whom we would have never thought it appropriate to join together in worship.
We will be clothed in a level of spiritual maturity in Christ—exhibited by our love for all others—which we finally will have actually yearned for and which we finally will have obtained through the loving and patient guidance of the Holy Spirit. Yes, She will show us all how.
Dressed up magnificently in robes befitting Heaven. Yet, no one outshining another. All worshipping together. In the same place. In the vastness of God’s love. In every language. Hallelujah!
But why wait? On this eve of 2023, aren’t we yet capable of putting on our heavenly attire? Come on! Let’s worship together now! Why not? Why wait until the surprise of Heaven? If we truly pray for peace on earth, why not let our behavior reflect that prayer? Matthew. 6:9-10: “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”