How we think about the afterlife affects the way we live each day.

 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead.  They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children.  So the second brother married the widow, but he also died.  Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children.  Finally, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!”

Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection. Luke 20:27-36 ( New Living Translation)

Fluffy clouds and harp bearing angels play no part in the Christian understanding of heaven. Our idea of heaven is insepearable from the belief in the resurrection. The Sadducees were trying to catch Jesus out with a story of a woman who was widowed seven times by seven brothers, had no children, and then died herself (talk about a run of bad luck!). This incredible story didn’t show any understanding of the nature of heaven or the resurrection. The relationships we have on earth will not be the same when we live in heaven. We will be living in a perfect community of love and peace with God and others without the need for the intimacy of marriage. While we will know our loved ones that are united with us in God’s love, it will be such a perfect loving relationship the image of God’s love in marriage will not be needed. In heaven we will have the real thing.

Lord of resurrection and eternal life, help my view of heaven to be one that focuses wholly on you. Let my trust in the perfection of your love direct my thoughts of heaven today.