Angelica and Heaven

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Heaven is not the place where the pleasure ends. It’s the place where it lasts forever.

Acts 2:28

In the musical Hamilton, when Angelica Church, Hamilton’s sister-in-law, begins to rap or sing, she lights up the Richard Rodgers Theatre with life, joy, and love. The same was true in real life.

Alexander Hamilton was married to Eliza, her sister, but it was Angelica who could match his wit and provided the gaiety and fun. Unfortunately for the Hamiltons, she spent years an ocean away. Her wealthy British husband served in Parliament in London. In a letter to Eliza, Angelica poured out her longing to get back home, “I shall never leave this island and, as to meeting in heaven, there will be no pleasure in that.”

In May of 1797, she finally did get to return to New York, and her parties did light up the night in New York City, but what baffles me is that this woman who could match wits with Hamilton had it all wrong about heaven. Heaven is not the place where the pleasure ends. It’s the place where it lasts forever. Angelica, like a lot of us, needed to pay more careful attention to King David’s words at the end of Psalm 16.

“You make known to me the paths of life; in your presence you satisfy me with pure joy; at your right hand are pleasures — delights that last forever.”

The apostle Peter quotes this Psalm in his sermon in Acts 2 at Pentecost. We’ll learn how the apostle used this Psalm to prove that Jesus was the Messiah, David’s Son who did conquer death. But today I’m struck again by how even smart people like Angelica Church can get it all wrong about heaven.

LORD, help us to take time to acknowledge that You are the source of all joy and the Way to pleasures in Heaven forever.

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