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Ann Toley

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29 v11

Many years ago my late, cricket loving, husband announced in a sermon that Heaven was like a never ending cricket match. His justification?  In Revelation chapter 7 it says:  “I looked, and I saw a very big crowd of people…. They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white clothes”.  Or in the words of  “ Once in Royal David’s City”  – “His children crowned,  All in white shall wait around.”   He never had to revise this of heaven view as sadly he died long before the white ball and the “pyjama” strip came to be the norm in the cricket we usually see on our TV screen!

I thought of this recently while reading a book of daily meditations for Advent, the last few days of which were all based on passages in Revelation – all the descriptions of Christ’s second coming and of heaven are marvelous but seem rather remote especially if, like me, imagination is not your strong point and, of course, heaven as in Revelation is beyond all our present experience.

As much as I can look forward to Heaven and would like to be part of a great assembly praising God (a Sunday morning service at St Stephens would be good for now!) I also need to be more than a face in a large crowd which is why the verse in Isaiah –“ I have summoned you by name; you are mine” has always meant so much to me and been a source of comfort in times of loneliness and despondency. Isn’t it marvellous to know that He knows us all and has plans for us individually?

Prayer:  Thank you Lord that You have a plan for each of us. Help this to be a source of strength to us, both now during lockdown and as we face the uncertain future.

Prayer Request:  For help and loving care for all whose life will be completely changed in the future, maybe by bereavement or by being made unemployed.