Heaven has occupied a central focus in the future hope of many Christians, and this week’s hymn, “When We All Get to Heaven,” gives voice to a lot of these hopes. I recall heaven being the focal point of spiritual hope for the future — particularly through the 70s, but many will know this feeling even today. My notion of this has been adjusted or reinforced through reading N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (CBD Link). As N.T. Wright has said, “Heaven is important, but it’s not the end of the world.” (I’ve blogged on this theme previously as well.) Despite the fact of heaven not being the end of the line, it still seems appropriate to anticipate it as a significant milestone in the journey-story of the people of God.
When We All Get to Heaven
Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessèd
He’ll prepare for us a place.
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!
While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.
Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.
Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.