Tuesday, August 9, 2022
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6,7 KJV).
Will Heaven be a boring place? (It is a resounding “NO!”)
Having just learned she has a terminal illness and but a short time to live in this world, a young woman begins getting her affairs in order. She starts writing her final wishes, including her funeral plans. Inviting her pastor over to her house to assist, she shares all the details with him: what verses she wants read, which hymns she wants sung, and what burial clothes she wants worn. After several minutes of discussion, she finally declares, “That is all, Pastor. Thank you.” They rise from the couch and she shows him to the door.
As he starts walking outside, she exclaims, “Wait, Pastor! I forgot the most important part! Place a fork in my right hand. Okay? Remember, a fork in my right hand.” Amazed, to say the least, the pastor cannot remain silent any longer. He inquires, “Pardon my curiosity, ma’am, but why this most unusual request? Why place a fork in your hand?” She smiles and explains how she had learned from attending socials and dinners that immediately after the main courses were served and the dishes were being cleared from the table, people seated next to her would always lean over and remind her, “Keep your fork!” After all, the best part of the meal, something more fantastic, was yet to come. Dessert was on its way! The young woman summarizes: “Pastor, when people ask why that fork is in my hand in the casket, you take time in your sermon to relate this story to them, and close with these words: ‘Because of our Lord Jesus Christ, the best is yet to come, so keep your fork!’” The pastor cannot help but smile too, for now he understands the symbolism.
What exactly is Heaven like? Is it boring? Are people floating on clouds? Is there an endless strumming of harps? Will we see “a bearded old man” sitting in a “rocking chair?” Or, perhaps something else….