As we mourn the Holy Innocents today, we read a comforting devotion from the book Heaven.
Why do the saints rejoice so in heaven? What is the cause of their happiness? What are their outstanding joys? First of all, they see God. What joy unspeakable to see face to face Him who loved them with an everlasting love, who provided for them a way of salvation through His own dear Son, and who graciously kept them in the faith unto the end, so that they have received the crown of life! Who can begin to describe the joy that fills the hearts of the ransomed when, basking in the sunshine of God’s presence, they are permitted to thank and praise Him forevermore for His marvelous grace toward the children of men? God is the Source of endless joy; in Him there is nothing to call forth sadness or any unhappiness; therefore, to be in His presence affords the inhabitants of heaven unending bliss.
Our precious Savior will be in heaven, and we shall be with Him there. What a thrilling experience it will be to meet Jesus face to face! Here in this life it is Jesus who is the All in all of every true Christian’s heart. Jesus so loved us that He did not shrink from the greatest sacrifices to make it possible for us to reach heaven. He left His heavenly throne of glory and assumed human form to be our Savior and Redeemer. Jesus endured poverty, ridicule, suffering, and even the shameful death of a malefactor, that He might atone for our sins. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” says Jesus (John 15:13). But He did more; He laid down His life for us who through sin had become His enemies. Greater love than that which Jesus manifested toward fallen, sinful mankind can nowhere be found.
What joy unspeakable it will be in heaven to see Jesus, to talk to Jesus, and to thank Jesus personally for His undying love! Then the walls of the celestial mansions will reverberate with the anthems of thanksgiving of all the saints. The Apostle John in his vision of heaven tells us that there will be harps and golden vials full of odors and a new song. Music and song and worship of Jesus shall there swell every heart. A chorus of endless praise to the glory of our Redeemer will resound through the heavenly corridors forever and ever. What a happy experience it will be to have a part in this celestial chorus! To see Jesus face to face, to revel in His divine tenderness forever, and to adore Him throughout the endless ages of eternity for His divine love toward us, this will be the chief joy of the inhabitants of heaven, the very pinnacle of heavenly bliss and happiness.
Lord God, our shepherd, You gather the lambs of Your flock into the arms of Your mercy and bring them home. Comfort us with the certain hope of the resurrection to everlasting life and a joyful reunion with those we love who have died in the faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Learn more about the lives of the saints with Pastor Weedon's Celebrating the Saints!
Prayer is from Pastoral Care Companion, page 121 © 2007 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Devotional reading is adapted from Heaven, pages 22–24 © 1961 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.