Weaving with powerful, beautiful music of a 20-piece orchestra and a choir, and comforting poems and scriptures, my father’s name was read aloud with other deceased loved ones.
Last Sunday was a special Vespers worship service at church to remember all the deceased who passed in last 12 months.
As the 15th, my father’s anniversary, is coming close, I had missed him more than before and felt sorry that I could not visit him in Japan while he was dying because of cancer.
Being in the service, I, who could not even make it to his funeral, found contentment that I could give him honor.
Although my father was 87, it must be harder to go through the grieving of a person who is younger.
Regrets, guilt, pain that you can no more see them, loneliness, or sense of being defeated dries up the springs of our spirits. Yet, if we knew where our loved ones have gone, I think it would make it easier to move on
The Place Called Heaven
Revelation I have been reading with George’s Bible class describes what kind of place Heaven is.
Revelation, which has stirred us up with Eschatology or Armageddon, is the last book in the New Testament.
If I read it alone, surely I would be confused and disturbed. Yet, actually I have learned this was a book in which God encourages us, who are suffering or desperate, declaring war with the evil powers that cause hate, sorrow, pain, and death in this world, and assuring us of His victory.
John depicts Heaven in his vision as follows:
As he went through the door of Heaven, there was someone who was brilliant like gemstones on the throne, which was circled by the glow of an emerald, and around the throne were 24 elders, who wore white robes and gold crowns. In front of the throne was a shiny crystal sea of glass and in the center and around the throne were four living beings (like a lion, an ox, a human face looking, and an eagle) with 6 wings, which covered all over with eyes. All of them were worshipping the one who was sitting on the throne.
John also saw the Lamb that had wounds from the slaughter among four living beings and the elders, and thousands and millions of angels were singing together with all creatures in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea, for the Lamb and the one on the throne.
The image of Heaven and the powerful music became a collage and made me think that my father was there, near that completely beautiful throne.
His faults and shame were all cleansed; his heart must be filled with so much joy that he must not even remember anything hurtful on the earth.
I don’t need to regret or feel sorrow, I thought. Then the sadness dimmed away and peace filled in.
There is always hope. Even when death comes in, hope never dies. On the far side of death, the One who created us and sacrificed His only Son for the redemption of our sin, is waiting for us with eternal life.
God is good all the time!