Today at the dinner table my fourteen year old said, “Today’s sermon was great. For the first time I wanted to cry about heaven because I was happy instead of crying because I was afraid.” I can’t blame her for being fearful. As much detail as John offers us and as fine a commentary as N.T. Wright has provided, it’s still a mysterious, albeit amazing, destiny.
This passage talks about God dwelling among his people, actually “tabernacling” with us (don’t you love turning nouns into verbs?) He will finally be able to enjoy the kind of intimate, fatherly relationship he’s desired all along and we with him. It’s hard for me to believe that being in such proximity to God will not evoke a lot of tears, the happy kind, like the kind we get on “this side” during wholehearted worship or seeing a newborn baby or a beautiful bride or from hearing a great joke. It’s hard to imagine a place where there will be no tears caused by disappointment or grief or pain or hunger. What a beautiful picture of God himself wiping those tears away forever.