Our Easter Sunday worship was really lovely. The place was packed, the whole service was one of victorious thanksgiving. The singing, the reading, the responses, the messages were all glorious. It felt like a small slice of heaven. Granted, a few areas could have been improved in the details. It was glorious, but it wasn’t perfect.
Which got me wondering. I came home to my sick husband and asked: do you think we’ll be perfect in heaven? I know that we will be perfectly sinless, and I know that we will be perfect in the sense of complete and whole.
If, however, we are perfect, is there a place for growth? In my puny mind perfect = static. Isn’t that a common fear about heaven, that it will be boring? The wise man replied, “How are you now? You will be like you are, but without sin.” We won’t know everything – God is the one who is omniscient – so wouldn’t it make sense that our knowledge will grow? What about our moral attributes: will our love grow, our patience grow?
I’ve been having a stimulating conversation with my gracious online friend Deb about the movie Ostrov (The Island). The 2007 movie chronicles the life of an eccentric Russian man, Father Anatoli, with a horrible secret in his past, who nonetheless has a solitary ministry to hurting, wounded people. Curt and I watched it (for free!) on Netflix Instant Watch; I gave some feedback to Deb. As an Orthodox Christian she sees some things differently than me. In the back and forth of our exchange I asked can humility and joy co-exist? I’ve been thinking about Philippians 2 and Hebrews 12 and the interaction of humility and joy.
My husband, Curt, is still wiped out. The medicine for pneumonia/sinus infection may be doing something but we have not seen improvement yet. I am simultaneously praying in faith that he gets better and beginning to brace myself for a big disappointment. I’m preparing for the trip and preparing to stay home.
This is the same issue (to a much smaller degree for us) that meets anyone who is diagnosed with a terminal disease. There is praying in faith for healing, and acceptance in faith of impending death. Does one preclude the other?