Raised in glory
"The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." 1 Corinthians 15. 42-44
Yesterday we buried my father's earthly remains.
It was a glorious day and everyone was there. My brother delivered the finest of tributes, while my sisters read beautifully from the scriptures. One of the grand-children regaled us with a polished rendition of MacLeod of Raasay's Salute and then 8 of the 12 family pipers joined in a final flourish of Highland Cathedral.
The occasion was set in context with the passage from Ecclesiastes 3, which speaks of everything under heaven having its appropriate time. And then we turned to Paul's first letter to the Corinthians for insight into what happens next... The promise of new life is comforting, that it is so superior to the life we know now is inspiring! We get glimpses in the resurrection appearances of Jesus. And I shared the dream in which I saw my father in his resurrection body.
But how to explain the fact that Dad was still alive when I had the dream? Well, if everything has an origin, that must include time. And, as Creator, God stands outside of his time, in the space we call eternity. Here there is no past, present, future - only life in its fulness. So those who depart this life in faith go to be with God in eternity, where they always are. Occasionally God permits their visiting of the earth, the most dramatic example being Jesus' transfiguration, when he was witnessed in his resurrection body conversing with Moses and Elijah on the mountain. And he was still alive on earth then too.
So we dispersed in the reassurance that, for those who live in faith, death is not the end; the best is always yet to come...