It’s hard work in heaven!
Revelation 7: 9-17
If, like me, you had always thought heaven was going to be a place of rest, think again! I’ve realised it’s a busy place.
Scripture is like a window through which we can see heaven and as I read Revelation I saw people I have loved working overtime to do the will of God. It’s encouraging, really encouraging, to know that they are still serving God, but not so encouraging if you thought heaven was a nice peaceful retirement home above the clouds. It’s in Revelation Chapter 7, verse 15, that I looked through the window and saw my loved ones working day and night, 24/7, in God’s home. They are never hungry or thirsty and every tear has been wiped from their eyes but they are working harder than they ever worked on earth. It’s good to know they are doing the will of God in heaven, but it has shattered all my illusions of resting in peace! Yes, peace we will have, but not the rest!
Yes, heaven must be a busy place, but the good news is that there won’t be accounts to prepare; minutes to record; reports to read; funds to be raised or debates to be won before people are convinced of what must be done. I love the thought of serving God in his home day and night without all the trials and tribulations of the world and perhaps the work we do will bring heaven to earth. I like the thought of my loved ones being among the great multitude from every nation, tribe and people of every language who are working and worshipping together.
I looked through other windows of scripture to catch a glimpse of heaven to see that “infants will never again live but a few days or old people not live out their days because those who die at a hundred years of age will be a mere youth.” I think that means that most of you who are reading today have a good few years left on earth so make the best of it before you are working day and night, 24/7!
In another glimpse through my window of scripture I see people building houses and making a home in them; planting vineyards and producing nothing but good fruit. They don’t work in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune for they will be a people blessed by the Lord. It’s a window Isaiah opens in chapter 65 with God’s great vision of a new heavens and a new earth. As we remembered loved ones who died yesterday and look forward to Remembrance Sunday next weekend I am encouraged that they are working with God in heaven to make things better for us. God’s will be done on earth as in heaven!
It was my message yesterday in which I shared a vision of a Rainbow Kingdom so if you have ten minutes to spare click on this link https://youtu.be/iqEOPhmj9sk
Susan Nuttall wrote with a reflection on remembering and forgetting:
A friend of Clara Burton, founder of the American Red Cross, once reminded her of an especially cruel thing that someone had done to her years before, Miss Burton seemed not to remember.
Friend: surely you remember it.
Miss Burton: No I distinctly remember forgetting it.
The Church in Society Committee have planned a Zoom talk about some of the important work of Shelter with homeless people. Helen Jackson will be talking about her work as a managing solicitor for ‘Shelter’ in Manchester and Liverpool. The talk is on Saturday starts at 10.30am and anyone who would like to receive the zoom link beforehand please contact Ann Walters on firstname.lastname@example.org
Shopping for Christmas gifts will be more difficult because of lockdown in November and December so I remind you of the message from Pat: “As you might expect our usual buying of cards and gifts for Christmas from Traidcraft will have to be done differently this year. I believe that it is even more important this year to support Traidcraft. A quote from their sister organisation ‘Traidcraft Exchange’ explains why – ‘Vulnerable people are in crisis at this present time – support our sister charity at the checkout to stop people falling into slave labour during this pandemic’.
I am happy to still order goods for you and then to deliver them to your door (using my chauffeur driver). Payment can be either by transfer to my account or by cheque (I’m not set up for swipe cards!). The difference is that I will be unable to circulate catalogues so you will need to go on line to look at and select what goods you want. The web address is traidcraftshop.co.uk . There is a section that is for Christmas related items but there also other items to choose from. If you wish to order anything I will need to know – The name of the item, the catalogue number and the price and quantity. If you could then email this to me or ring me if you prefer. Email – email@example.com Phone number – 07709 982755. I know that some people can’t email me because my laptop does not speak to theirs! If this is the case please email your order to Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like all orders in by Friday 6 November. “
So, if you are thinking about ordering some Traidcraft cards or gifts have a look this week and let Pat or Judith know.
The new national lockdown that is scheduled to start on Thursday means that we won’t be able to have Sunday services, but we will still share a time of Remembrance with our neighbours on Sunday. I will also try and put some sparkle into the community at 6pm on Thursday night and encourage neighbours to light sparklers on their doorstep as a form of remembrance. People can continue to pause outside church for a time of quiet reflection……
Pray please for June, her sister Julia and husband John.
Pray for the local businesses in and around Broadway which will struggle through another lockdown.
Naomi and her family. Frank and Christine, Pam Peters, Mavis Payne, Elaine For Faye, husband Stu and their two little girls. Vicki, Susan Nuttall, Michael Eden, John Graham
For the people of America as they complete the voting process.
For this afternoons Elders meeting
God Bless, Richard