One of my favourite stories about heaven is from “Our Tribe” written by our Moderator, Reverend Elder Nancy Wilson. She went to see a young man in hospital who was dying of AIDS. He was so weak, and in so much pain that he could not speak. He communicated by writing notes on a pad. His question for Nancy was “Are there gay angels in heaven?” Nancy recalls thinking about a wonderful guy in her congregation who had died recently, and was able to say “Yes, yes there are.”
Our worship theme this month is ‘Making Heaven on Earth’. The first week we focussed on worship. There are times in our worship services and in other worshipful places when I am taken beyond myself. I am no longer conscious of where I am and am fully immersed in the moment, feeling myself connected to and held by God. This profound experience feels beyond time and is of a bit of heaven on earth for me. Last week, we considered service – all the ways things that we do for each other in our faith community. All of these acts of service are a way of showing love and care for one another. It is an opportunity to be generous, thoughtful and kind. So many folk in our congregation ‘go the extra mile’ to make sure that whatever they are doing is done with excellence. This Sunday’s theme is action – the way that we interact with those beyond the church walls. When we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, fight injustice, comfort the grieving, befriend the lonely, we are ridding the world of its imperfections. Our actions, our attitudes and our prayers all offer a glimpse of God’s dominion on earth – the kingdom as it could be. It may only be a glimpse of heaven on earth, but it is a good start.