What was the largest concert that you ever attended?
In 1992, I was part of the crowd at a U2 concert at Meadowlands Stadium (NJ) in 1992. There were approximately 80,000 fellow fans yelling, screaming, and singing to the wildly popular Irish band fronted by Bono. At one point a friend and I worked our way down on to the floor, fairly close to the stage and became part of this great sea of humanity swaying, dancing, jumping and fully engulfed in the moment. All of our senses were totally engaged with the spectacle before us – the music, lights, pyro, and our countless bodies pressing together and in rhythm with the band – unforgettable.
This week, as I was watching an episode about music festivals on This is Pop (Netflix). The memory of this concert experience came to mind, prompted also by what I thought was a brilliant observation by one of the persons being interviewed. The point he made was that super large festivals or concerts like Woodstock, Monterey and Coachella were (in his opinion) the closest thing to Heaven on Earth as any human experience can be. (Click upcoming link.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmsJSN6fT9g That got my attention.
Now, there are a lot of places in the Bible that give us a glimpse into Heaven, but none more weirdly descriptive as the Book of Revelations authored by the Apostle John. The book is full of details about extraordinary creatures and features that seem inconceivable, whether we take John literally or figuratively. For certain though, the common theme is that we will be confronted with the awesomeness of God and transfixed by His overwhelming presence, and that of His opening Act, the Lamb (Jesus). With laser focus we will be unified in our very vocal praise and worship:
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Rev 7:9-10
Of course, I am in no way comparing an evening with 80,000 U2 fans to whatever our heavenly encounter will be. However, the commentary from the Netflix show was compelling, implying that there is indeed some sort of core human desire, possibly even in our DNA, to share in an event where we universally come together to exclaim our common praise, and yes, even worship of something we all find captivating. (I wonder how it got there? 😉) It is the sharing of such an experience that unites us in a very positive way and provides us with validation that, yes, this is good, and it makes me feel good that I am here, and for the moment, nothing else is of consequence. Heaven on Earth.
So, consider that memory and the feeling. Close your eyes and recall it, and then try to anticipate that feeling for all eternity…with perfect weather…and no Covid! 😊