No Nostalgia for the Former Things Weekly Address - Week of November 13
Are you feeling nostalgic?There comes a time in each of our lives when something triggers a memory from our childhood. When those memories come back, we long to rediscover whatever it was that left a mark on us as a child. Just this past week, I saw that a member had bought a book named “Corduroy.” Now, “Corduroy” was a big deal for me growing up – I still remember being read the story of a stuffed bear who wore a corduroy overall and lived in the window of a department store. At night he would wander the mall, searching for a missing button to his overall. I felt joy as I looked at the cover of the book – the green corduroy overall was something that reminded me of a happy childhood.
The question presented this week is, Will we feel nostalgic for the moments shared here on earth when we are in heaven? Will there be some things that we will long to reexperience from our days here on earth?
Absolutely not. In fact, what would be the point? For all the good here on earth, there is the bad, the distasteful, the sad, chaotic, and stressful moments. For all the happy associations, there is also association with death, disaster, misbehavior, and perversity. The Lord encourages us to forget the former things and to reposition our thoughts on greater things. The Lord says through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 65):
Watch this! I am about to create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered. They will not come to mind. Instead, rejoice and celebrate forever, because of what I am creating.
Watch this! I am about to create Jerusalem to be a source of gladness, and her people will be a source of joy. I also will be glad because of Jerusalem, and I will rejoice over my people. The sound of weeping will not be heard in her again, nor will the sound of crying.
In this new creation promised by God, things will be totally different than the way that we are experiencing them now. If you should read through the rest of Isaiah 65, you’ll see that a great deal is happening because of the coming restoration. The important part to understand? Bad things will be taken away. Everything ruined by sin will be gone. And that’s accomplished reality for those whom God has chosen by grace through faith. Everything good will remain. Everything bad will be gone. From a spiritual sense, what’s there to feel nostalgic about? Rather, let us forget the former things, and let us seek the things that are above – the everlasting promises of our God.