According to 1 Peter 5:4 upon our arrival in heaven the chief Shepherd will give to the under shepherds the “unfading crown of glory.” This phrase carries the idea that was illustrated by Moses “fading glory” when he returned from spending time with God on Mount Sinai. His face would shine brightly, but in time the glow would wear off. Time always wears away the glow! I look at my old scrapbooks and see what 50 years have done to my appearance. At 15 I had a full head of hair and a youthful vigor and now I have a shining bald spot. And what’s left is thinning out and turning grey. My hearing isn’t as good as it was then. The world around me has faded into such a fuzzy picture I need glasses to bring it all back into focus again. I’m not sure that I’ve ever glowed, but the “shine” of life gets dimmer with each passing year. In my favorite Easter verse, 1 Peter 1:3-5, our inheritance in heaven is described as being “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.”

The Greek word for “unfading” is the word for amaranth. It’s from the same root word as the “unfading crown of Glory” in 1 Peter 5. Amaranth is the name for a particular flower. According to Robertson’s “Word Pictures in the New Testament,” this Greek verb is derived from the name of a particular flower “…so called because it never withers and revives if moistened with water and so used as a symbol of immortality.” Milton also used the amaranth as the symbol of immortality in “Paradise Lost.” He suggests that the amaranth bloomed near the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. Some flowers today are called “everlastings” because even when picked they maintain their brilliant colors. The amaranth is one of those. It’s a beautiful deep scarlet color.

Heaven is the place where nothing will fade, nothing will wear out, nothing will rot, and nothing will be destroyed. We have a home there! It’s waiting for us who have come to faith in Jesus and are trusting in His work of salvation accomplished on the cross. Our eternal home is so much different from our temporary residence in this world that Jesus emphasized the importance of living more for the coming reality than the present “fading away” reality. He tells us, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:33). As we look forward to eternal life it becomes easier to loosen our grip on our possessions and money and to share what we have and to give when we can and to serve others as much as we can while on temporary assignment. This brings treasures that will not wear out or, like the amaranth, fade away.

“He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17