Dec 17, 2005

intermission: heaven

Interesting subject, eh? Perhaps I should have said "intermission: purgatory," eh?

Some of you will get that later.

I just watched a few minutes of an interview Conan O'Brien had with Barbara Walters. They chatted a bit about an upcoming special she has on Tuesday about heaven. Here's a slice:

Barbara: So do you believe in heaven?

Conan: I... I... um... I... (laughter) I believe that there is something, I really do. I don't know exactly what it is... maybe pillows and pudding. I'm hoping it's pillows and pudding... I had the catholic education... I remember asking a nun what heaven was like. She said, "What do you like to do?" I said, "Coloring." And she said, "It's that forever." And I remember being bothered by the concept that I don't want to do that forever.

Which raises the questions...

  • Do you believe in heaven?
  • If so, how would you describe heaven to other adults? If not, what happens when we die?
  • And how would you describe any of this to a kid?


Melanie Morales said...

I absolutely positively believe there is a Heaven! Pillows and Pudding? She really said that? My husband has a Catholic background and I have that insight into how nuns answer questions that kids come up with... what a shame! What a missed opportunity!

I recently read the book called 90 Minutes in Heaven by (somebody) Piper. If you read it - just let go of whatever you think of near-death experiences, Heaven, or if you think he just dreamed the whole thing; I think he has a grasp on what Heaven's like. You know those question lists we keep in our head - all of the questions we are going to ask God someday? We're not even going to care! We will get to sing with this incredible chorus of souls and angels and we will get to dance and praise God in whatever ways we feel we can honor Him with our perfect bodies. We will recognize others we encountered in our earth-bound journeys. I don't like that song "No Tears in Heaven." I don't think that's entirely accurate! I think we will laugh so hard at God's humor we will cry. I think we will have tears of joy often.

As far as what do we tell our kids... I think often we don't give our kids enough credit. I wonder what they would tell us if we asked them what Heaven was like?

Royal said... must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 1 Peter 3:15-16

There are more opportunities for Spiritual conversations coming up every day. People are spiritually hungry. I am sad to say that most people who profess to be Christ-followers are not able to explain the reason for their hope. Other religions are gladly stepping up and filling in the gaps.

Randy Alcorn's Book on Heaven is the most comprehensive and amazing I have ever read.


john alan turner said...

Heaven is all the good stuff -- pillows, pudding and more! It's learning and working and putting stuff together -- without any frustration. It's singing and always getting better at it. It's talking and listening and being heard and growing and running and jumping with no runny noses or skinned knees ever.

And it's never bedtime.

Michelle said...

I couldn't say what heaven will be, and I seriously dislike lying to children, so I won't tell my (future) kids that I know something when I don't. There's a difference between what something is and what it is like. What descriptions the Bible gives us are often metaphorical--what heaven will be like. It would be a lot of fun to talk to children about what heaven might be like. It might be like coloring, or singing, or riding a bike, or smelling an apple tree, or that feeling you get in a cathedral lit with candles during an evening celebration of Lessons & Carols.

But I think the idea of heaven is cheapened when we act like it's just a place where we can do whatever we want. Heaven is where God's perfect will is done, and where we are one with Christ.

Tony Myles said...

That's a great distinction - what it is and what it is like are two different deals. Maybe we need to stop confusing the two.

John... I'm kind of hoping for a bedtime. You know, God rested on the sabbath and all. Maybe in heaven we get to take really fulfilling naps. :)