Well, the Seahawks lost this weekend, and I’ll admit that depressed my Monday morning mood more than it should have. The more complicated our world seems, the more cathartic a last-minute touchdown can be, that moment of jumping off the couch, throwing our fists in the air, using our voices to respond more simply and viscerally than we do all week. That didn’t happen this time because of a fumble, and the cheers we didn’t get to cheer felt so close that they’re hard to let go.
Perhaps you’re not a football fan. Perhaps when you think of wholehearted, instinctive cheering you don’t think of a big man in small pants crossing a white line painted on some grass. That’s fine. Nonetheless, can you summon that feeling of elation that goes with a leap and a yell? Perhaps you felt it when your friend was given an award or your candidate got elected or your test went better than you thought or your favorite band announced a tour stop. Regardless, the point is: Though that cheer has faded, we will cheer again–louder, longer, and for something that lasts.
Revelation paints this picture of standing before God’s throne:
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”
Think not only of the roar of 60,000 fans but also the shout of the world’s waterfalls the crash of all the heavens’ thunder. The sound in my mind comes from the victorious ending of my 12-year-old-boy favorite movie, Star Wars: Episode I (with foreign horns lifting up the cheer), and, yes, the image comes from the triumphant entry of the emperor in my 17-year-old-boy favorite movie, Gladiator. Yet, those memories are only the barest sketch of the cheer we’ll really take up.
Someday, when it all comes clear and it’s all set right, when we can see what God has planned, done, and accomplished, we will cheer the visceral, whole-, and simple-hearted cheer of a cosmic comeback victory. That cheer being better doesn’t mean we should hold back our jubilation for the great and small things that make us cheer today. Rather, we should cheer and not forget that the new cheer will exponentially exceed it all when we cry, “Hallelujah! There’s no longer any doubt that YHWH reigns! The people of God, who seemed so done at so many points, have been clothed with fine linen, bright and pure, and the marriage of the Lamb has come!”