I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
You know, there is always someone who will ask, “Do you really believe in a literal Heaven?” In today’s pseudo-spiritual world, Jedi and Bejoran religious beliefs garner more respect than Christianity, and The Rainbow Bridge comes nearer to expressing the hopes of more people than the Bible.
We have so many voices trying to tell us that what Jesus taught was wrong, that while He was revolutionary in His day, He is rather quaint today. “Faith in the teachings of the Bible? How 19th century of you!” But here’s the thing that I realized about these people: they don’t know anything more concrete about God, Heaven, life or death, and living than I do. Their opinions are just that:
biases opinions. Years ago, I came to the conclusion that God knew more than I did, and for that matter, more than these other voices knew, as well.
One of my literary heroes, Puddleglum, faced the same dilemma. He was being told by someone much wiser, much more sophisticated, much more persuasive, that Aslan and Narnia didn’t exist. It was at that moment that Puddleglum made the greatest statement of faith I’ve ever read in children’s literature. To read about Puddleglum’s Wager, click on over to The Monday Heretic blog and read Faith According To A Marshwiggle. (Do take time to read that post, it’s that good!)
There is more that we don’t know about Heaven than that we do know, but what we do know is that Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in HEAVEN….” I’ll let theologians argue about the nature of Heaven (literal/figurative/another dimension/etc.); I fix my hope on this: Jesus ascended into Heaven, and after my death, I will “ever be with the Lord”, wherever that may be.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another. (Job 19:25-27)