I once heard a Baptist funeral sermon that pictured our passage to the next world as a mere stepping to the sunny side of the street, to a place where we will come together with our dearest friends, where we will still be Cubs fans or Red Socks rooters.
Maybe. But Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of men, the things that God had planned for those who love him.” And St. John in today’s reading said, “We are God’s children now, what we shall be has not yet been revealed.”
Our surest way of insuring a good afterlife is for us to concentrate on being loving children to God. Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, in speaking first of almsgiving, then of praying and then of fasting, told us that when we do such things, if we do them to be noticed by humans, we will receive no reward from our Father; but if we do them in secret, with nothing in mind other than pleasing our Father, then our reward will be great in heaven.
Although no one can tell us what heaven is really like, there are still hints about it scattered all through the Bible. The poet Date, in 1310 stitched those hints together, creating a beautiful tapestry that he called his book “Paradiso.”
When war engulfed Europe in 1939, we shared our Christian hope by singing, “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”