What’s New Year’s Day like in heaven?
Do they even have it there?
The Bible says that with the light of Jesus’ face, they don’t need sunshine there (Revelation 21:23). But without a sun for the earth to orbit around, how long would a year be?
Yet the Bible talks about how, when God creates new heavens and a new earth, being a hundred years old won’t be old at all (Isaiah 65:17,20). So it might be okay to think about heaven having years.
Ten thousand years to praise him
We sing about heaven’s years in the last verse of the hymn “Amazing Grace—How Sweet the Sound”: “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun” (Christian Worship 379:4).
What will ten thousand New Year’s Days in heaven be like?
In heaven, New Year’s never means another year without the loved one I lost. There we won’t worry, “What sorrows will this year bring?” There New Year’s won’t mean making resolutions, because we were perfect in every way the year before.
But the best part of New Year’s in heaven? The hymn verse says it. Even after ten thousand New Year’s, “we’ve no less days” to look in our Savior’s eyes and see for ourselves just how praiseworthy he is. How will that feel—to be able to say, “Today I begin my ten-thousand-and-first year of reveling in my Savior’s glory”? Wow.
But don’t stop there. That eternal hope is meant to fill us with hope for our New Year’s on earth too.
Hope—because, as his believing children, God promises to bless us so much this new year that we will need more than ten thousand years to praise him!
Isn’t that how we should think about that ten thousand years of praising God in heaven? What will we praise him for? Only for how great heaven is? Oh, no! Also for how great he was to us in our lives on earth, including how greatly he will have blessed us in the year 2015—through the sermons we will have heard, through the prayers he will have answered, through the outcomes he will have arranged for every event and trial, and for so much more.
And when we’ve spent ten thousand years there praising him for New Year’s blessings, we’ll have no less desire, nor fewer new songs, nor any less time to praise him “than when we’d first begun.”
Countless blessings FOR which to thank him
What if I expect that much out of 2015?
Unlike all other people, Christians can be sure God will bless them in each new year. Luther says in the Large Catechism, “For all outside of Christianity, whether heathen, Turks, Jews, or false Christians and hypocrites, although they believe in, and worship, only one true God, yet [they] know not what His mind towards them is, and cannot expect any love or blessing from Him” (II.66). Without Christ, how can they know!
Really, in every part of my Christian life, God promises blessings. Following his Commandments? Many passages promise blessings for that (see Psalm 5:12; 112:2). Confessing the Creed? He promises not to withhold anything good from those who
trust in him (see Psalm 34:10; Jeremiah 17:7). Praying as he taught me? He’ll answer better than I can ask or imagine (see Matthew 7:7-11; Ephesians 3:20). Suffering? He’ll turn it into great good (see Job 23:10; Romans 8:28).
What if I expect every day to be full of those blessings? Blessings I’ll need more than ten thousand years to praise him for?
An increased faith like that would, in itself, be a tremendous blessing this new year!
Christopher Doerr is an editor at Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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Author: Christopher Doerr
Volume 102, Number 1
Issue: January 2015
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