First, in order for you to “buy this” I think I may need to point out some things about Heaven which you may not have thought of before. Do you realize our longest and most detailed view into Heaven is during what is perhaps the most important ceremony to have ever taken place? It is the revealing of The Lamb that was Slain and the opening of the seals which only He could open, it is “The End Times,” which are just that “times” that are temporary.
Now think for a moment about the most important ceremonies which go on in your church, for instance weddings or funerals, if someone were to only be present during those times would they have an accurate picture of what your church normally is? Would they not likely come away thinking it's rather formal or somber rather than a mixture of formal, somber, joyful, fellowshiping, and all the other circumstances which happen in your church's walls?
Keeping the above in mind, now read the rest.
I watched a recent interview of Taylor Swift. As she came out from the back and then periodically throughout the interview the cameras would pan the audience. In this video and in others I have seen throughout the years of different stars, I was utterly amazed that anyone can get so excited merely to be in the presence of another human being that, in reality, they don't even know. To have one of your biggest wishes to be that famous person just touch your hand or (gasp!) give you a hug; to have one of the things you want most in to have a picture made with this person standing next to you.
You've been around those types of people, those people whose excitement is infectious; who though they may not quite convince you to show as much enthusiasm as they, still cause you to show more than you ever would otherwise. If nothing else you smile at their antics and their delight. Their delight in seeing a friend's baby for the first time, of seeing a long-lost loved one, of going on a trip, to a concert of their favorite band, or even going to a place you've gone with them a hundred times before.
Though a small part of you may think they're ridiculous and silly, you still may cherish a memory where you caused that excitement in them, when you made it to the luggage area and where gathered in their arms or when they saw your first child and they seemed to really realize it was the most perfect baby in the world (unlike some other friends and family). One of my very favorite memories is from an “overly” enthusiastic greeting that I received from one of my best friends in college after she first saw me after break; she caught sight of me as I came around a corner, ran to me and almost knocked me over by jumping into my arms.
Some of us, when we get to Heaven, are quite likely going to fall down on our faces before the throne or at the very least hang our heads a little bit, because we can't quite accept that we're allowed to look into the face of God, need reminded we're perfect enough to actually be in the presence of Perfection. Likely, it will be Christ who approaches us and gently lifts us up, or raises our chin and looks us in the eyes with a smile on his face to assure us that we are, in fact, wearing his perfection and that it has become our own.
Then there will be the other type. The type who in death, as in life, have enthusiastically embraced their newness, who truly know they are perfect in Christ. I believe this type will burst into the Throne Room, oblivious to all the solemnity and almost bowl Christ over in their embrace. I suspect that the first few times this occurs after a more somber soul has just recently arrived, there is a sense of shock until they realize that this approach to Christ is just as perfect as their own.
Now, I know that some of you may have a hard time buying into this interruption thing but, if you allow yourself to think about it, can you really imagine Peter or Mary Magdalene first greeting Jesus in any other way? On earth Peter threw himself out of a boat (in his excitement maybe he briefly thought he would again be able to walk on water) in order to get to Jesus sooner and Mary wouldn't stop clinging to her Lord when she first saw him.
I can see Peter running towards Christ yelling, “I made it! Thanks to you I made it!” and Mary embracing and maybe even kissing Jesus (in a purer way than we can even understand before we are given new bodies not made of flesh) saying, “Now you have ascended, is there any reason now I cannot cling to you to show my thanks and love?”
If you still do not believe in these interruptions which I fancy sometimes happen, perhaps my last thoughts will convince you. Have you had anyone in your life who, though grown, has the mind of a child? Who has held onto a child's enthusiasm? Who never developed past a certain point? Have you seen their excitement when they successfully tie their shoes or button all their buttons all by themselves? Or finish a race (and it doesn't matter what place they come in)? Do you really think these innocents will care for propriety when they see something beyond their wildest dreams? See the one who created them and are finally able to understand how he has used their “imperfections” to make them into exactly who he wanted them to be and how their differentness help to shape so many others in their lives for the better? Do you think they will hang their head? No, they will probably shout “I'm here, look at me!” and demand high fives of the Heavenly Host on their rush to their Heavenly Father's throne.
Speaking of innocents. What of those children who knew no real family on earth, who left life early because of neglect or war or famine? While on this earth Christ said, “Let the children come to me for Heaven belongs to such as these.” Will he not say the same in Heaven? When one of those young souls are welcomed home, will his lap not be waiting? I think those starved souls will see Him seated and know exactly what he wants, for it is part of what they were created to want, to be loved and touched and cherished.
Yes, I believe Heaven is about worship and praise. Yes, Christ and his Father are more majestic than anything we can begin to imagine, more awe-inspiring than our minds can now comprehend. But also our God is Love and we are reminded again and again that we are the Bride of Christ. The Church's relationship to Christ is compared to the relationship of a husband and wife and I firmly believe that we are called to try to work on and perfect our relationships here because they can better teach us how to relate to our Creator and will allow us to have a better relationship not only here but also There.
I do not think I will run into Christ's arms or run to hug my Father's knees but I do not think I will be too shocked when I see some of my Family do those very things. Then I will know some of God's biggest and most enthusiastic fans have just walked or rather ran through Heaven's door.