Today’s Word from Pastor Jim… 

“Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” I Corinthians 15.

I sat with her in the sanctuary before the service started. She was tired, weak, and worn. Her quality of life was diminished by aging and grief; she missed her departed husband. We exchanged some tender words and a memory or two. Then she said, “Pastor Jim, what you do know about heaven?” With great confidence and without hesitation I said, “nothing.” She looked at me quizzically and somewhat concerned, “Nothing? Nothing at all?” “Not really. The Bible has very little to say about heaven. The life after this one is shrouded in mystery. To be honest, I know nothing.” I would not say that she was comforted by my ignorance.

Our conversation continued, “Let’s imagine that you and I were twins in our mother’s womb right now, getting ready to leave that world for the next. And you asked me what waited for us on the other side of that birth canal. Floating in the darkness of this micro-universe would I have the knowledge or words to describe the magnificent creation of planet Earth? To be very honest, I have no idea what heaven will be like, but I am ok with that. I can trust God for that one. I can trust the God who gave me the gift of life in this wonderful world, to usher me safely home to the next. We have nothing to fear from God, we have nothing to fear from death, it is a part of the journey but not the end of story.”

“So, you know nothing Pastor?” “On my own? No. The Bible tells us that our transition to the heaven will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye. Jesus told the thief on the cross ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’ The Bible assures us that in heaven there will be ‘no more pain, no more tears.’ Is that enough? Is that enough to allow us to rest safe in the arms of a good and gracious God? We must learn to just trust God on this.”

Two days later, a man sat in my office. He was very much alive, but just two years earlier after a massive heart attack, he was very much dead. For 15 minutes he was dead, no pulse, no heartbeat. He spoke of that experience, that 15 minutes deep in the valley of the shadow of death saying, “Pastor Jim, it was all ok. I am happy to be alive, but I have no fear of death.”

Can we trust God on this?

I am no expert, I am simply one beggar, telling another beggar where to find bread. I am your

Pastor Jim

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