Memory Eternal

In May of last year, I attended my first Orthodox Christian funeral. An elderly member who had previously lost both of his legs to type 2 diabetes ‘fell asleep’ at the age of 78.

Today, I received an email from my parish’s matushka saying his wife had ‘fallen asleep’ today.

St George, Orthodox Icon - at Holy Trinity Store

Many of our parish already found out today during, Kyle Forti’s funeral service.

None of us get out of here alive. Where will you spend eternity?

As a Protestant, I had been told that I must train down here for the tasks which will be assigned to me when I get to heaven. There are so any flaws with this: 1. How can I possibly know now what I will be told to do when I reach heaven? 2. The bible tells us that Christ goes to prepare a place for us to dwell. CHRIST prepares it. He does not need my help. He made the entire world without any help from any of us. I’m sure He can more than manage heaven without any assistance from me. 3. Why would I need to prepare now for work I will be assigned to do when I get to heaven? Can’t Christ just download the info into my brain when I get there? 4. How do you know I’ll be doing the things you think we will be doing when we get to heaven?

I was so disheartened to hear this as a Protestant. I had spent most of my life working and sometimes 2 and three jobs! I had been looking forward to resting when I arrived in heaven.

Thank you, Lord for the sanity of Orthodox Christianity.

The theme of Orthodoxy is this; we are preparing ourselves to spend an eternity in the presence of God. I’m not here on earth to learn an apprenticeship or do a work study. I’m here to wrestle with my passions. I’m here to ‘violently take heaven by force’.

The Protestant view of ‘work in heaven’ was more like day labor. You’ll help build this, you’ll decorate that, etc. Does it not sound more accurate that since God is the Creator we will not be creating anything but will continue to work out our salvation, worship Him, and pray for those who are still living?

I am not an expert on heaven or on holy things. I am a rank amateur. However, I’d rather concentrate on learning how to love the people around me, how be merciful, how to pray, how to worship the Lord, and how to let go of my passions. THESE are the works God has given to us here on earth so it makes sense to me that they would also be the things on which I will work when I arrive in heaven.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors…” (Revelation 14:13).

 

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