Friday, November 25, 2016

describing heaven

Lewis tells us about whether we should take Biblical imagery literally today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

On one hand, I think he rather overstates his case. He makes it sound as though there will NOT be harps and crowns and gold in heaven. There very well may be, as the Biblical verses that describe heaven do say there will be gold and crowns and harps. But he's very right in saying that they represent far more than they mean taken strictly literally.

And on the other hand, Lewis did a fine job describing what heaven might actually BE like in his books. My favorite is in The Final Battle, the last book in the Narnian Chronicles. He paints heaven so well it makes me want to go to his version.

But trying to describe heaven is like trying to describe anything to someone who has never experienced it. Can you imagine trying to describe eating to someone who has never eaten and doesn't need to? It sounds rather disgusting and inappropriate when you think about it. And we won't even mention using the restroom or making love. It's especially difficult to explain how we use the same parts of our body for those very different things. I can see how an alien or an angel would find our natural body functions rather repulsive.

So when we try to describe what heaven will be like to someone who has never been there, we can only tell them about things they know and then say "Well, it's kind of like that."

The main thing to remember about heaven is that it will be a joy that will make all of our sorrows here and now seem like nothing. It will be everything we've ever wanted or hoped for... and more.

God, thank You for making a place for us with You where we can live forever.

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