And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. — John 14:3 NIV
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus showed all who believe in Him that when we leave this earth, we will not die. We will go right on living – in complete fullness – with Him for eternity. What a comfort to know that death is not a closed-door ending of existence but rather a wide-open entry into glorious new life. Equally comforting is the assurance that all those we love will join us in that perfect place.
Our finite, mortal minds could never comprehend what immortal life will really be like, but, still, it’s fun to imagine the possibilities. Whenever I think of Heaven, I envision a memorable Sunday afternoon church picnic of many years ago, which a good friend of mine and I had organized. The event was held at a nearby park.
I can still see it all so clearly in my mind’s eye. A beautiful day with azure-blue skies, cotton-ball clouds, golden-glow sunshine, and soothing-soft breezes. Everyone had arrived and was having a marvelous time. A whistling calliope concert, its tooting tunes in showboat fashion, could be heard all across the park. The irresistible aroma of freshly-popped popcorn, courtesy of a vintage Popper Machine, was wafting over the air. The children were busy enjoying a Bounce House, face painting, and pony rides. In an adjacent field, teenagers were merrily competing in three-legged and relay races, frisbee toss, and tug-of-war.
A local catering service had provided us with mouth-watering fried chicken and all the tasty trimmings, including baked beans, corn on the cob, cabbage slaw, and hot country biscuits. People were queuing up to the tables to partake of that fabulous fare, while a little band of talented, octogenarian musicians and soloists regaled us with joyful, toe-tapping instrumental strains and songs. Some of the church members were dancing to the Big Band sounds.
Everyone was so happy, delighted to be with each other, and grateful for the blessings of that perfect day. A sea of smiles in a land of light and laughter.
It was at that moment that our newly-installed pastor arrived and, looking out at that heartwarming scene, he remarked, “You know, Mary, I bet this is what Heaven’s going to be like.” I couldn’t have agreed more.
My haunting, vivid memory of that day so long ago — a preview of coming attractions?
Happy Resurrection Sunday!