Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revelation 21: Terranova

In the early months of 2010 as Diane lay in another of a series of comas, I sat at home on a cold winter night and - I forget how or why now - a line of song came into my head, "the great reunion". Pastor Craig Bensen several years ago preached a sermon on how heaven will be like a great family reunion and celebration.

So I flipped open to the book of the Bible that I thought talked most about this occurence - Revelation - and found Revelation 21. During the next hour, I sat down at a computer and wrote the first draft of "The Great Reunion", probably the only song that I have ever written that I would call a good song, and more importantly, it is a tribute to the Bridegroom and to the Bride, specifically my bride and the brothers and sisters of the Jericho Congregational Church who have been such family to me and mine. I've always thought it funny and fitting that after writing our brother Bob Terranova into the song - he's the other amputee dancing with Diane, and a tireless giver of time and godly encouragement to the physically challenged - I realized that his last name means "new earth".

As for the individual references in the song - David Baizley is a godly young man with some learning challenges who absolutely loves to sing for the Lord and does it very well. He is going to love heaven and heaven is going to love him. The couple reunited with their son are Rich and Karen Parker, who lost their only son John to leukemia about five years ago. They were the wonderful leaders of our grief support group, and I hope I am there to see their reunion, depicted in the song as similar to Jesus bonding his disciple John with his own mother. As for the footrace imagery, as I wrote it I thought of Nate Brown, a high school athlete from Westford, and the happy look on his face as he finished the Burlington City Marathon several years ago. At last we cross and stop and rest, thus ends our marathon. 

Mankind has been seeking a New Earth, a utopia where 'neath their vine and fig tree they can live in peace and unafraid, since Adam and Eve left the garden with just their animal skins. There's a popular TV show called "Terra Nova" in which travelers from a dystopian future journey back in time to start over again and do it right.

It's never worked, and it never will work until God himself, having done away with the edenic spoilers like the spirit of Babylon, the false Christs, and the devil himself, gathers unto Himself those whose hearts cleave only unto Him. Our hearts find no rest, O God, until they find their rest in thee. And then, and only then, will come......

The Great Reunion

I saw a new earth and new heaven
The old had passed away
I saw the holy city
Dressed for her wedding day
Then I heard a loud voice saying
Now God has come to men
They will be his people
And he will be with them, the great reunion

Our old lives were a footrace
Powered by the spirit’s breath
With our eyes fixed on the finish line
Christ purchased with his death
A mighty cloud of witnesses
is cheering us along
At last we cross and stop and rest
Thus ends our marathon, at the Great Reunion

Now the music’s getting started
King David plays the lyre
David Baizley sings along
Filled with the spirit’s fire
A crowd of people clapping
And cheering at the site
Joni Earickson is dancing
On heaven’s holy light, at the great reunion

Now a word about the music
It’s all about the Lord
No posing prima donnas
Not dissonating chords
Just grateful voices lifting
Their song of victory
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me, at the great reunion

As I walked along the streets of gold
Looking far and near
I saw two people dancing
To the music of the spheres
Their lives on earth were painful
But faithful they did stand
Their morning turned to dancing
It’s Bob and my Diane
At the Great Reunion

I saw the Lord embrace a family
His words recalled the time
As he suffered on Golgotha
His loved ones standing by
He said unto the woman,
mother here’s your son
And he said to his beloved friend,
John behold your mom
At the great reunion


There are people here I didn’t know had Jesus in their heart
And tears are shed for those who chose to stay always apart
But past the cross of Jesus, death disappears from view
By God’s good grace by faith I’m saved
I’m asking friend, are you

The cross of cross is God’s one path
from darkness into light
Just trust the Lord and tell him you’ve
not done it all just right
And put your faith in Jesus
and his death on the cross
Receive his love gift for you,
embrace his willing loss
And join the great reunion
I’ll see you there
At the great reunion

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