Services at the First Congressional United Church of Christ in Downers Grove tend to bring a tear to my eye every time. And I finally figured out why. Because I get it and hope that others can share the same leap.
Regardless of your faith or religion, many imagine the afterlife and what their concept of heaven contains. Many focus on the future trying to manage their day that will bring ultimate spiritual satisfaction. Many say if I am a good girl, I will go to that musical place in the sky and if I am bad, I am heading in the opposite direction.
As Pastor Scott talks of the singing angels on a cloud, there are others that see their own angels in heaven as people they loved, maybe a few angels with withered wings instead. But, nonetheless, their angels. Everyone has their own interpretation depending on experience, knowledge; the majesty of it all, seeing and sitting at the right hand of their God.
But in theology, heaven is described with the growth of the mustard seed plant, not a beautiful example of flowering vegetation. And if you understand, you realize that your heaven or hell is right here, right now. It is how you decide to live your life from this moment forward.
One of my favorite stories is about the man in the burning building who ignores three rescue attempts because he is waiting for something beyond this world to save him; dying only to realize that he was given exactly what he needed to survive. Today, I was reminded of the women who waited to dine with Jesus while three people with severe issues came to her door, declining to help them, later disappointed that Jesus had already knocked three times.
And we drift further into the service,of course, recognizing that it is never about wealth in any of the words spoken but blessings that sometimes can't be imagined.
After the final benediction is spoken, you walk away with that emotion once again, ....one word that speaks volumes.
Love and it will forever come to that. Whether it be the passion you put in your career, into your next canvas, the Bears game today, the nature that surrounds you or the one you truly cherish.
I guess it comes down to what kind of heaven or hell you want to paint. It's your kingdom!