Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Choose ye this day. . . Beijing or Heaven?

At church last Sunday, several of us were talking about the opening ceremonies of the Olympics which we had all watched just the Friday before.

We were all impressed with the pomp, the pageantry, the theatrics, the sheer magnitude of the Beijing ceremony. I had heard that there were roughly 10,000 (or 15,000, depending on the source) individuals involved in the event.

TV commentators mentioned afterward that this was by far the best, the most impressive opening ceremony they had ever witnessed, that China had raised the bar to a whole new level, that London (host to the 2012 summer games) would have a tough time matching Beijing's ceremony.

Eventually, our conversation turned to heaven. One man—a first-time visitor to our church—mentioned that compared to the Olympic ceremony, heaven would be even MORE impressive because "eye had not seen nor ear heard" anything quite like what we were going to see there. Several people agreed: heaven would be even more amazing, filled with even more pageantry and beauty.

Then we heard a dissenting voice. One man raised the question: Will heaven be all "pomp and circumstance," or will it be simple—even barren—compared to the Olympic event? Would heaven be all pageantry and theatrics. . . or would a grand ceremony take away from the real center of attention, Christ the King?

He wondered out loud if the marriage feast of the Lamb would be simple food—rather than rich and sumptuous—so that the meal itself didn't draw our attention away from the Host of the meal.

What do you think? Where would you rather spend eternity—at the Beijing ceremony with its grand ceremony and glitter—or in a quiet, simple, even austere—heaven?

Let the conversation continue.

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