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    Revelation 7:9-10 - After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

    Have you ever heard anyone say, "Heaven is going to be boring. I think I'd rather be in hell with all the interesting people"? Certainly, there are plenty of popular songs and cartoons that imply that heaven is boring. And if we're honest, many of us Christians harbor a fear that they might be right -- probably because of passages like this one from Revelation. We have a mental picture of people standing around all day in white robes, taking part in one of those seemingly endless Sunday services when nothing seems to click and all we can think about is grabbing some lunch.

    And yet -- most of us have had experiences where the outside appearance looked very different from the way it felt on the inside, as we lived it. When I was a teenager, it was then common to call one's boyfriend or girlfriend on the phone after school. The first five minutes of the call were fairly normal. But soon, we would stop talking. Silence would descend, and we would just enjoy being together, saying a word or two every few minutes, maybe. The rest of the time was silence.

    My mother would come in the room and wonder what in the world was going on. "You've been on that phone for nearly an hour already. Why aren't you talking? Aren't you bored to death?" She probably thought I needed my head examined. It looked like sheer boredom. But that wasn't how it felt to a teenager in love.

    Being in God's presence is a little like that, only much, much better. The people dressed in white around God's throne aren't bored: they're celebrating, they're ecstatic. The white robes are their party clothes, what you'd wear to a victory celebration. The same is true of the palm branches, though in modern terms we would think of flags or sparklers. And the people are so happy they're shouting. They wouldn't want to be anywhere else but there. This is Jesus' victory celebration, and all the people who love Him are there to share in it. It is the party to end all parties.

    However the descriptions of heaven strike you now, there is no need to be afraid you'll be bored. You won't. God is no fool. The God who made you and redeemed you knows you very well. You were made for His presence, to rejoice in His love. And we all will do that together, celebrating and enjoying the One who loved us so much He saved us through His death and resurrection.

    PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me know the real joy that You give to those who love You. Amen.
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