Heaven is Not a “Cosmic Family Reunion”

31 Jan

As I prepare to do another funeral today (such is the life for a pastor in an older church) I ran across a phrase that got me thinking. I read the words, “Heaven is not a cosmic family reunion.” As I have been around many families in grief, I can see the hope they draw from the thought of being reunited with their loved ones. And I can see some biblical support for this idea (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:17). However, it seems to me that too often we make this what heaven is all about. I’ll see uncle Bill and grandma and dad and my best friend and that will satisfy me. It’s almost as if we think that if my friends are there Jesus is optional. Now none of us would say that outright but our thinking about heaven often reveals an attitude that isn’t far from that idea.

Truth is, we won’t get excited about Jesus in eternity if we aren’t excited about Him now. We long to see our loved ones because they are loved ones. We invested our lives in knowing them and they in us and we treasure their memories because of this. We will want to see Jesus most of all not only when we consider His work on our behalf but also when we are growing in daily intimacy with Him.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to see your loved ones again. There is nothing wrong with remembering and celebrating the life of one who has passed away. But there is something better about heaven than seeing our loved ones. There is even something better than being free from sin and death and mourning and pain. That something better is being with Jesus forever.

Don’t feel bad for wanting to see your loved ones just make sure Jesus is your greatest loved One.

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