“Now we know that if the earthly tent (body) we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling.” — 2 Corinthians 5:1-2
Wreath Directions: Light two purple candles.
Read Aloud: 2 Corinthians 5:1-7; Revelation 21:3-5
Suggested Carol: Joy to the World
There is another kind of peace that comes from both the first and second comings of our Lord Jesus. This peace is what I am calling the “peace of heaven.” It is the knowledge and actualization that death is not the end of life itself, but instead the end of life’s struggles and worry.
Death is a scary thing. When a loved one dies, the pain of loss seems to overwhelm all other emotions. Even attempts to remember the good times are usually met with the realization that those good times are over and there’s a void in your life. But what about when you’re facing your own impending death? Some people handle that news better than if it affects a loved one. But it’s still scary!
The peace of heaven is the knowledge and emotional security of knowing that because Jesus left heaven to come to earth and now reigns from heaven after conquering His own death, we can be in heaven with him — very much alive. In John 14, Jesus said he was leaving this earth to go to heaven and prepare a place for us there. When we die, our troubles die with our bodies, including sickness, brokenness and pain. They do not continue into heaven.
I love how Revelation paints the picture of our perfect heavenly home:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne (of God) saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:3-5)
Heaven is a place where God Himself dwells, so there is no sin, suffering or death there. I doubt if there will be any regret, either — at least not regret tied to sin. Hurts and pains will be gone, as will ill-timed words and malicious actions. All that will remain are the good works that a man earned on earth. Paul said everything else would be burned up like straw in a furnace (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
In heaven there will be peace, a lasting peace. It is worth hoping for and planning for, for one day it will be our home.
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who were once alienated from You by our sin have now been reconciled to You through the blood of Your Son. And now He is our peace both pertaining to salvation and to life. We thank you for this peace in His holy name. Amen.”