written by Rev Gary Heard

Ever thought about what Heaven must be like? This thought has been getting some airing in our house since we visited a bookshop last week and obtained a copy of a recent M Scott Peck offering “In Heaven as on Earth”. When Ev had finished reading it, she passed it on with encouragement to read. It has been thought-provoking for us both. Ev commented “I get a bit scared thinking about that. Coming from traditional Baptist Churches for several decades I actually break out in a cold sweat when I think that these may be the people with whom I must share my eternity.”

To be truthful, much of what heaven is depicted as - to me - seems more like the good life on earth: great house, filled with all the gadgets - extremely self-indulgent. On the other hand, sitting around on clouds with harps singing for eternity doesn’t conjure up much excitement for me either. How many times can we sing that chorus over and over again?

Our perspective of heaven truly shapes the way we see life on earth, yet I suspect that for most of us the concept of heaven is driven the other way around – as the very best that earth has to offer.

Ev suggested “it would be great if one Sunday night we brainstormed what heaven would be like, with gleanings we get from Biblical passages. She joked that this could save a few of us (long term) from tedious therapy courses before we are finally prepared to let go to the next journey. Even ‘Journey” makes it sound like hard work!”

Heaven: have you taken time to contemplate its significance? Its purpose? Its environment? We’ve all heard sermons on hell-fire and brimstone (much as we’d like to forget them), and for most of us the sermons on heaven have been less than impressive, or avoiding of the questions we might like to ask.

If this life is a preparation for the next, as much as a celebration of the present, then perhaps we need a clearer sense of what we are being prepared for. Or do we need to be surprised?

Heaven knows.

May 4, 2003
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