A sister church had a sign up recently asking people about their status in regards to heaven or hell. It got me thinking, why is it that we in the church sometimes focus more on what is going to happen after we die, than what we are doing now? The more I, or others, in the church seem to focus on issues of life after death there seems to be a direct decrease in participation in the local community here and now.
My recent thought is that life after death does not start after death. We either engage now in heaven or we are living in a hell. We chose how we live, graciously, with thanksgiving, engaged in God’s forgiveness and grace; or we can slide into self service, simply getting by and through things, become overwhelmed with stress and frustrations. If I do not enter into a relationship today with God, if the forgiveness of Jesus doesn’t transform me now, dying isn’t going to help any help me any – even with the right way of thinking or memberships. For me I find that the more I engage in reaching out, helping others, trying to make a difference in my world and the lives around me the more I am open or experience the presence of God.
The question about heaven and hell really should be more present minded. Are we finding life, are we feeling alive, do we have the strength to engage or am I simply atrophied into an mindless apathy? What is going to happen has already started.