What Heavenly Language(s)!
Have you ever imagined what communication in Heaven will be like??
Some suppose we’ll all communicate in the same language – perhaps ancient Hebrew. Some skip over the question entirely, supposing our own cherished language will be universally adopted.
I think it will look and sound more like the day of Pentecost, when praises and testimonies were flying in every language known to those present.
We’ll all understand whatever our neighbors are communicating, because Heaven has no barriers. Yet I truly look forward to the richness of expressions from around the world and through the ages.
The Waorani of Ecuador refer to “walking God’s trail,” and I love that image! In an ASL prayer, the most precious moment (for me) is when someone calls for our Father’s attention with a “tap-tap,” a clear image of the humble child reaching up to share their heart. English has one word for love, Greek has four – each with a unique scope and dimension. Even imaginary cultures, like the Na’vi of the film “Avatar” have expressions full of meaning… “I see you.” To spend eternity exploring the depth and breadth of languages God placed in human minds in an instant…wow!
Another common idea is that we’ll all be vocal in Heaven…maybe, maybe not. Again, we’ll all understand everyone, but don’t kid yourself into thinking everyone will have their hands on harps or in their pockets! Imagine for a moment Heaven’s Sign Praise Choir – can you see them? Hands up, hands out, waving, flaring, drawing in close…countless expressions of praise for God’s gracious boundless love.
And one universal sign…a name sign…the only name that really matters…Jesus. You can’t miss it – the middle fingertip indicates feeling, and is pressed into the opposite palm, then the other hand returns the gesture. His nail prints. His own eternally signed “I Love You.”
God has declared that there will be people from every nation, tribe, and language in Heaven. What a joy to imagine it, and how much more to be there!
Until then, we need to be practicing our praises and inviting others to join us. That’s where cross-cultural ministries come in, whether it’s a week of construction on a Native American reservation, a lifetime abroad in remote parts of the world, or communicating in sign language with our Deaf neighbors.
Jesus declared that no one will enter Heaven without a committed, surrendered relationship with Him. It is His home, after all. Relationships don’t happen until people are introduced, usually by mutual friends. So we, as friends of Jesus and friends of the Deaf community, are developing resources to make those introductions.
I’d like to invite you to be a part of that… Make certain of your relationship with Jesus, then begin introducing Him to your friends. Learn about the different cultures and languages around you, and how you might introduce Jesus to them in ways they best understand. Prayerfully consider supporting ministries that cross cultural and linguistic barriers. Then, practice praising in every form of communication you can!