Thursday, 30 October 2008
All Souls Day
Where do we go when we die? 'Heaven', or 'Up there', to live with God. [True enough, as long as we remember God doesn't occupy space literally. God transcends time and space. Better to think of God as somehow else rather than somewhere else.] Another answer might be wherever Jesus is. And we are on a better track now I suspect. Perhaps an even better answer is to reframe the question from where we go to with whom we will be with. And the answer to that question is 'Jesus'. Our salvation - heaven if you like - is entirely through Jesus. This is the most basic point of the Christian gospel: Jesus and the Spirit allow us to enjoy the same relationship with God that Jesus enjoys. Where God is, that's where Jesus is, and that is where we will be. Or if you prefer a less spatial metaphor, the relationship that Jesus enjoys with the Father, we too will enjoy through and in Jesus. Faith unites us with him, so that we enjoy the relationship of love that we name Father-Son/child in the Trinity.
But the answer to the question 'with whom will we be with' is not only Jesus. We believe in the communion of saints, which is not just talking about 'saints' as the particularly holy, but the communion of all those who have been made holy in Christ through the Spirit. Salvation is not to be conceived principally about us individually enjoying God, but as a communion of all the blessed in and through Christ, together with Christ, enjoying Christ's relationship with God.