Monday, December 27, 2010

A Picture of Heaven

Sunday morning. Feast of Stephen, so the nights are still long and the days brief. 6:30, an hour before sun-up on a cloudy day, so the dark of night is not yet banished.

The world is quiet. The whole way to church at this early hour, I see only one other vehicle, and that one is a couple of blocks away on a side street. The businesses are darkened. The windows in the homes are dark; not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

I approach the church driveway and look back across the lawn and see the building lit. Light floods from the windows. The church shines, surrounded by darkness. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. In that building is the voice that absolves sinners. In that building is the altar, the mercyseat, the place of God's saving presence, where the body of the King of the Universe gives life, where the angels singing with all His saints unite.

Here is Jesus' manger. Here is heaven.

I wish I'd had my camera. I would have traipsed out to the street (even in the cold) and snapped a photo to capture that icon someplace a little more reliable than just my memory.

Yet, in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

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