Practicing for Heaven

Do you ever practice for anything? I have at least one practice every week for music on Sundays, and usually I have two practices. When I was growing up I practiced basketball for hours on end and my parents forced me to practice piano. These days my practice generally falls into two categories: reading and music. I read so I can grow in my knowledge of God and I practice music because I love it and because it’s part of my job.

Have you ever thought about anything on earth that we are practicing for heaven? My dad wrote a couple pieces recently on music (The Church’s Corporate Singing: Reflecting the Now and the Not-Yet-Ness of the Kingdom, and The Singing Church: Praise, Prayer and Proclamation). I also just recently finished reading ‘Rhythms of Grace‘ by Mike Cosper, a fantastic book I strongly recommend if you think through anything related to worship. Through my dialogue with my dad and reading that book I was reminded that singing songs together today is practicing for what we will one day do in heaven. 1 Corinthians 13, the famous love chapter says, “As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” So many things people on earth put so much stock in today will eventually pass away, and what will remain? God’s love.

Revelation also paints a picture of us singing praises to our God, starting in Revelation 4 with the four creatures and twenty-four elders, continuing in Revelation 15 singing the song of Moses, and finally the great multitude in heaven praising God in Revelation 19. We are a people who sing praises to our God, and we are a people who will be singing praises to God for all eternity. Preaching will someday be done, because we will be in the very presence of God! Teaching will someday cease because God will reveal himself to us! But singing is something we will get to do for all eternity. So do you regularly sing praises to God, or are you too worried about what those around you will think? Do you view singing as a way to practice for heaven?

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