What makes glory even more glorious? …Disney World! All my life I’ve heard the interviewers ask the Super Bowl/World Series/Stanley Cup/Olympic, etc. champions, “What will you do now?” And the perennial answer is, “I’m going to Disney World!” Apparently it is an uncontested fact of life – when you reach the pinnacle, most glorious, moment of your existence on this earth, the only thing that could make matters more glorious is Disney World.
Now I must admit, Disney puts on a good show. The illusion of “A Magical Kingdom” is convincing. Even as an adult, I find myself interacting with Goofy, Donald, Mickey, and Minnie as if it were really them! When my precious daughters run to hug Cinderella, Belle, and Elsa, I feel a surge of excitement for them – as if they were actually meeting these fairy tale figures! When my sons pose for a picture with Woody & Buzz, I get goosebumps and think to myself, “The folks back home are never gonna believe this!” It’s all quite enchanting.
But what if you didn’t have the money to gain access to the “Happiest Place on Earth”? Would all these seemingly friendly figures welcome you into their kingdom? Based on the mythology of Cinderella, certainly she would have compassion on the poor person who couldn’t afford the $101.18 price of admission. Right? Nope. At-the-end-of-the-day, Disney just wants your money. Never mind the fact that none of it’s real, the worst thing about Disney is that they don’t really want you (they simply want your money).
Now – let’s be clear – I’m not trying to villainize Walt. My aim is to get you thinking about GLORY. What is truly glorious? What would make glory even more glorious?
Heaven is glorious! Heaven is a place of unparalleled, bona fide, beauty. There is a river of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb! This river runs through the middle of the street of the city of God! On either side of the river, the tree of life grows with its 12 kinds of fruit (yielding year ‘round!). The leaves of this tree possess powers that heal the nations! In the heavenly environment nothing is accursed, and night will be no more; and there will be no need of lamp or sun, for the LORD God Himself will be our light! …That is truly Glorious!
But what makes that glory even more glorious is the unbelievable fact that we are WANTED in that world! The glorious glory of heaven is that the glorious one WANTS YOU WITH HIM! One of the most glorious realities at present is that Jesus Himself is currently – personally – preparing a place for you in His Father’s house, and He has passionately promised to come back and take you to Himself, so that you may be with Him (as His wife) where He eternally resides!
“But what if I don’t have ‘the money’?”
“…What if I’m a wretched, rotten, person?”
Hear the words of Joseph Hart [1712-1768], as he invites us to relish the Words of Isaiah 55:
Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus, ready, stands to save you,
Full of pity, joined with power.
He is able, He is able;
He is willing; doubt no more.
Come ye needy, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
Without money, without money
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.
What makes the glorious environment of heaven especially glorious? It is the joy of the Great Bridegroom – wanting, singing over, delighting in – the presence of His wife with Him for all eternity!
You! You – sinner, poor, wretched, weak, wounded, sick, and sore – are WANTED by God. He wants you with Him so badly, that He Himself pays whatever price He must pay to have you WITH HIM (even if it comes at the cost of sacrificing the eternal Son of God)!
You are the Bride of God! It is God’s infinite pleasure to have YOU WITH HIM …to dwell with you, and you with Him for all eternity!
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.