The one Thing we know we’ll do in heaven

A common “coffee question” for Christians in my experience is some variation of “what will heaven be like”? When I say coffee question I mean one of those good ones that you a) never really need to ask at all, and b) could talk about for an absurdly long amount of time.

Don’t worry this is a short post.

But, outside of the classic answers of being able to see God (Revelation 21:23), see people we love (2 Sam 12:23), experience the new city described in the book of Revelation (Rev ch 21, 22), participate in heavenly worship (Rev 4), and Join Christ at the table (Matthew 26:29)… all of which are awesome by the way.

Aside from those, did you know that there is strong evidence that there will be music in heaven?

Music is all throughout the Bible, and the quickest way to find it is to look for indented script. Like you can find in the book of Psalms, or the song of Miriam (Exodus 15:17), or Mary (Luke 1:46-55).

The strange indentations in your English Bible are the way that the translators let you know that in its original language of Hebrew or Greek, these verses either rhyme or they are in meter.

By meter I mean all that stuff you learned in Jr. High English like the structure of a Haiku or Shakespeare’s Iambic Pentameter. Meter is a systematic arrangement of syllables. You learn the pattern, know what to expect, understand how the words fit in. It serves two important purposes:

  1. It makes things easier to memorize – and that’s why you find so much Bible prophecy in meter
  2. It makes things singable – if you set the meter to a melody – which doubly makes things easier to memorize.

You gotta remember, even in the ancient world when they could write things down, it’s not something that everyone did. Your phone in your pocket, the ream of paper you have access to, and the fact that you can own your own printer is a phenomenal change from the way that humans have communicated for millennia.

Memorization served a huge purpose in human history for a very long time… There might be something to be said about how we’ve lost that skill and now we let the phone in our pocket or the cloud in the internet do all our memorizing for us… but I digress.

In the worship service that the apostle John witnesses during the vision he records in Revelation, there is a fantastic song recorded in scripture:

The first verse is sung by the Seraphim – the six winged throne room angels.

Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.

Rev 4:8

The second verse is sung by the 24 elders, whom I would argue represent the fullness of the people of God: 12 for the tribes of Israel, and 12 for the apostles of the New Testament church.

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

Rev 4:11

But that’s just the first song! There’s another one sung in chapter five except this time there are three verses and three different choruses: First the seraphs and the elders, then the thousands of angels surrounding the throne sing a verse, then every creature ever created joins in on the last verse! Go ahead, take a look and you have to agree: there will be lots of music in heaven.

I always shared that with my choir directors at the churches I served in, they have the best pitch for new members ever: We practice for the one thing we know we’ll do in eternity!

When I did youth ministry, my volunteers and I used to drive the students to concerts in those big old church vans. One artist I will never forget. He may have been the reason I brought earplugs, but he owned it. When David Crowder introduced worship songs, he invited people to sing along so loudly that they should pre-apologize to their neighbors! My tinnitus may not have loved the volume, but my heart loves that theology. We will sing to the Lord and not worry about how it sounds; we’ll just sing. We’ll join in the gift of heaven to earth, the gift of music.

So, make music a part of your life! Sing in the car. Bear no guilt about the number of songs you have on your phone. Join the choir. Play in a band. Make playlists for your friends (anyone else miss mixtapes?). Attend concerts. Listen to symphonies. And no, it doesn’t have to always be church music… there was a time in my life when I knew all the lyrics to The Phantom of the Opera, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat… That time has passed, but if it lifts your spirit, and draws your attention to good things then go for it. Music, period, is a gift from heaven to earth.

There’s a reason why it moves the soul. It’s one thing we know we’ll be bringing with us into glory. There will be music in heaven, how will you join in the melody of the Lord?

2 thoughts on “The one Thing we know we’ll do in heaven”

  1. Everywhere one travels, we see people plugged into their phones enjoying their favorite tunes. You see this more with the younger crowd. What is cool about the music is there is almost always a message for the listeners. And so it is with church choir songs that grab lyrics from scripture. So if we listen carefully to the words, we find guidance for our lives. Our choir director works very hard to work with each group of part music (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) to harmonize for a beautiful sound. Choir music can be inspirational for the listener.

    1. There’s something really special about being in a choir. Each voice contributing part of a greater whole, and together what is created is something so totally different from an individual solo. I imagine the experience is the same for playing in a band or a symphony. There is a sense of transcendence in those moments. I often wonder if there is a lesson about heaven within that experience.

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