A few weeks a ago I went to a non-denominational college group with a friend just to see what it was like. This particular meeting was just hanging out and know scripture study (I guess that was a good thing :p). Anyway, towards the end when the leader was about to close the meeting with prayer she gave a quick talk on heaven. Basically what a wonderful place it will be (streets made of gold, big houses etc.) This is what my former church use to say as well. I kind of came to a realisation that in the Catholic Church when it comes to heaven, the focus is being with God. In my non-denominational experiences the focus was more on streets of gold and stuff. Don’t get me wrong, they do mention the greatness of being with God, but in the Church I never really heard Catholics talk about the street of gold etc. Does anyone else sense this?
Off the top of my head (which is largely influenced by my non-denominational experience) heaven is about:
Experiencing the fullness of God’s glory,
It will be on a perfect earth - it’s the complete version of what we do now in church.
The first thing that came into my head was not being with God, but rather being in the glory of God. So I suppose I do have the wrong emphasis a bit. But I sometimes see it in a way which is probably far closer to how we do things now in church than what heaven will actually be.
I haven’t had an emphasis on things like ‘the streets will be made of gold’ (maybe a small one from a small group of people), but we have sung songs like because of you which seems to have a good balance, but does talk about things like wine ever flowing and
No, actually that’s an amazing song. Now that I’ve looked at the lyrics in more detail I shall have to undisagree with myself :-P.
I haven’t had any catholic experience to compare to though.
I’m not sure sure about streets of gold but we are told that there will be a new Heaven and a New earth and God will dwell with man. At the end of time this fallen world of ours will be renewed, which has already begun and is carried on by the Church, and drawn into eternity. We will have resurrected bodies and will dwell with Christ and worship in the Heavenly Temple. These things are, to my mind, all material so I imagine there might well be streets! However the emphasis should be, and is in Catholicism, on the salvation of all things and the transformation of the whole world and its final resting place with God.