Have you thought about what worship in heaven might sound and look like? I find no introverts among the throng! Being a true introvert myself, I’m not sure what to do with that realization.
As much as I enjoy meeting and mingling with people, they drain me. Even my people!
There are twenty-three of us in our immediate family. Our noisy, oft rowdy, and usually action-packed family gatherings fill this Mama’s heart to overflowing. But, I must admit, silence and solitude keep my internal engine running, rejuvenating me for whatever demands may arise.
All you biblical scholars read my heavenly analysis with furrowed brow and deep skepticism. I understand completely! My brows have been doing the same thing! Let me explain, please.
I’ve just finished reading the Book of Revelation. In twenty-two chapters, I find only a half hour of silence. Honest! What’s more, it isn’t even the pleasant, introvert lovers refilling, energizing kind of silence. Rather, it’s more like, “Oh no! This can’t be!” variety.
” After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heart speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ ”
That was my first clue about heaven. A voice like a trumpet! Nothing about a trumpet blast calms my introverted spirit.
Creatures and Elders
The Apostle John witnessed an open vision of Jesus Christ and things yet to come, including spectacles in heaven which my feeble mind can’t imagine. He tries his best to explain the images to us.
John gives us another clue. Around the throne, four heavenly creatures worship God,
“. . . Day and night they never stop saying,
‘ Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was and is and is to come.”
Their worship provokes twenty-four elders to throw their crowns at the Lord’s feet, breaking into their own chorus of worship. Day and night, continuous active, vocal worship!
Images of angels singing while softly playing harps may not be entirely biblical. Listen to what John actually hears and sees,
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ “
But wait! Nothing in my introverted self cringes. Rather than run for seclusion, the magnitude of creatures, elders, and angels all with united “loud voice” giving glory to God stirs me to want to join along. Each spurs the other into extravagant exultation.
No one and nothing remains silent. All of creation bursts into exalted praise of the One on the throne. Every living creature raises its voice in perfect unison.
Can you imagine how noisy, even rowdy, and probably action-packed that gathering became?
John’s vision continues,
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb . . . And they cried out in a loud voice:
‘Salvation belong to our God
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.’ “
Some cultures naturally celebrate in robust, exuberant expressions of emotion; others tend to be soft spoken and gentle. Some denominations worship with quiet liturgical style; others worship with drums blasting and guitars blaring.
We introverts may have found crafty ways to escape the bustle of earth, but there’s no escaping the worship of heaven. Can you pick out even one introvert in heaven’s mighty throng? I can’t! Worship in heaven flows with unceasing, uncapped, unanimous rhythm.
No one feels inhibited. No one declares cultural exclusion. Everyone worships in heaven with liberality.
Then it comes! Silence! An eerie silence that holds heaven in awe-filled suspense. Thirty minutes of spine tingling, nerve-wracking silence. How could it be? Why would worship so suddenly cease?
I find myself asking another question, “If I know beyond a doubt that worship in heaven should continue unstopped, why would I tolerate the silence of worship here on earth?”
I have long considered this present life a temporary blink before eternity — a training ground for the things to come. Perhaps, it’s time for me to toss away my preconceived notion of an introvert’s dream come true — a quaint cabin in forested heaven surrounded by flowers, next to a babbling book, fifty miles from the closest neighbor.
If this life is a preparation for heaven, I better shake the dust from my feet and get my shouting voice tuned up.
Let’s face the truth; nothing compares to the worship in heaven. God alone merits glorified praise. Throughout Revelation, group after group falls on their faces, sings, shouts, and declares the greatness and worth-ship of our God.
With silence broken, worship resumes; the sound of high praise resonates through the atmospheres.
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Worship in Heaven
I’m honestly frustrated by my feeble capacity to give Holy God, anywhere close to to the worship He merits. If I could dance like King David danced, bringing the Ark of God’s Presence into my city, it wouldn’t be enough. If I possessed exceptional musical ability to compose songs of pure adoration, it falls far short. Everything feels insignificant on this side of heaven.
My heart yearns to give Him more.
Someday, unlimited by earth’s tethers, I will exalt the King of all kings and Lord of all lords to full potential. Today, I practice. I pull my introverted self out of the place of comfort and press to co-operate with the anthems of heaven.
One day, I too will cast any crown at His feet and I fall in reverent awe before the Lord of glory. I will with ease join the worship of heaven. On that day, as I behold the One I long to gaze upon, my little voice will join the great multitude with thunderous applause to the One worthy of it all.
This introvert will be introverted no more. I will find refreshing and renewal in the joyously noisy, the exuberantly rowdy, and forever action-packed gatherings of the worship in heaven.
“After this I heard what sounded
like the roar of a great multitude
in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power
belong to our God .”
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!”