Yesterday I was leading a group talking about living an authentic and active faith, and the topic of heaven came up. I cannot speak about my own feelings about heaven without getting choked up. I have many images of heaven from books and films and art and Scripture, but two are real for me. That is, when I imagine eternal life in the presence of God, two different images fill my heart: When eternity and my life meet up, I will finally be able to rest my head in Jesus' lap, and listen to him, and gaze at his face. And he will stroke my hair. And nothing else will need to be done, nothing will distract me, nothing will take me away from that love. Or. The vast, beyondimaginingness of loving compassion that is God will swallow me up into its ocean, and none of us shall ever be separated again. For me, or anyone else who continually fails at perfection in earthly love, who strays from the path, even those I would count as evil, there is hope: God never, ever gives up on us. Reconciliation is constantly at hand, for it is the nature of God to be merciful and loving, hopeful and faithful. In life, after death. Forever and ever.
And what makes me a pastor is the desire that every one experience even a taste of that, in the present eternity of God. Amen. May it be so.