Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Gates of Heaven

This conversation really makes me sad for all of us, yet gives me much to think about...

My brother Aaron just came home and shared with me that he and some friends had been talking about heaven, and how "its crap that heaven is a 'gated community.'”

This conversation led them to paralleling it to our own gated communities:

What does it take to get in? Surely, you have to have “status.” And a password, of course. Yes. A password. So maybe to get into heaven, there’s also a keypad and you have to punch in the code for entry. For heaven, the password must be “SALVATION.”

At first, I thought this was pretty funny. But then… how sad is this? I think a lot of people would not see the cynicism he offered. Instead, they would say there is great truth to this… and many would (maybe will) ridicule me for thinking otherwise, but how can we live like that? As part of a community that believes God would “gate” people off? Perhaps my biggest problem with this idea is acknowledging who many of my more conservative brothers and sisters would say can never have that password if they don’t “change their ways.” (and more liberal brothers and sisters who would gate off people too- like the conservatives? This is not a one-sided problem, friends! I am probably in the middle somewhere, but equally guilty!)

But who are we to judge? Does not the very same Scripture that is used to push people away, also tell us we must LOVE our neighbors? PRAY for our enemies? Seek JUSTICE for ALL?

I have a dream that someday, God will mend all of our hearts, heal our wounds and give us a peace that is so deep that those of us who disagree, bicker, fight or otherwise hurt one another here on earth, will someday sit at a table in heaven together and in a love that only God can provide, join in fellowship and conversation with one another. At that table we will all be smiling, loving, and learning from one another.

In that place, there will be no need for gates, for all will be welcome. That is what I see when I think of heaven.

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