Falling asleep..

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

I wonder, have you ever thought about what being resurrected will be like? To explore this question, I’m going to need to think about death for a bit. I know we don’t like to talk about it, but bear with me.

On this side of life, death can look like lots of things, but it’s interesting that many people liken it to falling asleep. Death can sometimes look like that, but it doesn’t always. Sometimes it can appear as peaceful as falling asleep, but at other times it is considerably more messy. We will sometimes describe death to children as ‘falling asleep’, though I don’t recommend that as it is confusing to the youngest and they have their own naturally pragmatic way of coming through grief.

The Bible even talks about death as ‘people falling asleep’; sometimes with folk not understanding the comparison (John 11:11-12) and sometimes when death is described as people having fallen asleep (Matthew 27:52). So there are plenty of falling asleep images, even if, from our perspective, it isn’t always quite like that.

It makes me wonder whether resurrection is a bit like ‘waking up’. I wonder if, having ‘fallen asleep’, time becomes amorphous – as it does when we’re actually sleeping because then, wonderfully, we’re awake. The sun is streaming in through the windows, the birds are chirping in the treetops, and we’ve absolutely no hangover of any sort from the night before. It is simply the best possible morning. Maybe it’s like that – only one person knows. It might be more instantaneous than that – I understand that some people are able to leap out of bed the moment their eyes are opened, and they’re fresh as a daisy. Others will want to lie in bed a little longer, enjoy the warmth and comfort of it, and be thankful for the new day. I wonder, what will resurrection be like?

Many times, you will have had me remind you that, as Christians we pray that God’s will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven; and that our role is in every way to be examples of Heaven on Earth. In which case, Easter is our reminder to wake up.

When we first realised the love and power of God in our lives, it was like the sun streaming in through the windows of our lives for the first time. When we first experienced the joy of knowing the grace of God lifting our hearts, we sang (in our own minds anyway) like the most tuneful, most enthusiastic dawn chorus. Having accepted that we are loved, forgiven and redeemed, it was like having the great hangover of sinfulness lifted from us. This joy of Heaven was and is available to us now and the greatest news is we don’t need to die in order to experience it!

As we draw back the curtains, yes, the world still needs dealing with in Jesus’ name, but the grace of God is pouring over the landscape, and the Spirit of God is burning in our hearts. Heaven is breaking in on Earth.
It’s breakfast time! Let’s get stuck in! How do you like your eggs?

With every Easter blessing
Andrew

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