I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes
and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”
And an addition, the verses that follow tonight’s/tomorrow’s first reading in the Bible:
For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
John’s visions of heaven are likely to be a comfort to anyone contemplating the fate of a loved one. What do we hear? Those who are saved are beyond our ability to count. It is estimated that 70 billion human beings have ever been alive. If we were able to count one per second, I don’t think the task would ever be finished. And remember, God knows each by name.
The focus in heaven is no longer on human need, providing for ourselves or for others in our care. The life in the Kingdom will be on God.
And finally, while there’s an acknowledgement we indeed have reasons to cry and mourn, we will experience with God a final consolation. Tears will not flood our eyes nor stain our cheeks. Under Christ’s guidance, we will realize a fullness of life we have yet to imagine.
A good message for grieving adults and children. A good message for saints-to-be, which I hope we all are.