Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heavenly Bodies

Have you ever thought about what you will look like to other people once you're in Heaven? (to see rest of post, click "Read More" below)

Obviously, the subject isn't really that important, and truly, once one is in Heaven, interests will likely (warning!!! gargantuanormous understatement coming here!) be more Christ-focused. However, as none of us have ever been there, who of us can really say what it's like? Personally, I've felt for awhile that since mankind was created for Earth, that's where we'll be. When the new Heaven and new Earth are created, the latter will sort of be a part of the former. I'm no theologian, so all this in my mind is a house loosely cobbled together with glass panes and silly putty built from shallow scripture reading, which I'm sure could easily be shattered with some theological rocks, and they wouldn't have to be heavy ones.

Nonetheless, my Sunday School class was doing a study on Heaven afew weeks ago based on a book I didn't purchase, and this subject of how one would appear in Heaven came up. Now, as a kid and sometimes growing up, I probably did think that how I looked right then was probably how I'd look in Heaven - just perfected in a Resurrection body. Thing is, I'll be 42 in less than two weeks, and the older I get, the less I'd prefer that to be the case. If I remember correctly, one concept thought up in the book -- or it could have been what someone in the class had read elsewhere -- was that since in Heaven, we're not bound by time and perhaps by our minds, what someone might see is a composite of your whole life - you as a babe, child, youth, teen, young adult, adult, middle-aged, old... all the parts of your life can be seen when looking at you. That was interesting. Maybe some of you ladies and gents have different theories outside the box. I'd love to hear them.

It does strike me that when Christ was resurrected, several times -- in front of Mary Magdelene, on the road to Emmaus with Cleopas and the other disciple, in front of the eleven, themselves -- they did not recognize Him, at least at first, and in the Emmaus case, not at all. Why was that, I wonder? Were there just scales put in front of their eyes? And then, suddenly, they did. Did Jesus' appearance change? Had it changed from the man He looked like before the Cross? Did it change right in front of the disciples eyes? Or were they just blinded by the Father to who He was until He wanted to reveal Himself? That resurrected body, the one they saw then, usually that's what I think I'll see when this life of mine expires, I head to the next, and get to look upon my Lord and my God. John, in Revelation, saw Christ somewhat differently than what I usually think about when I picture my risen Lord. How do you see Him?

Now, going back, what I'll see when I look at you... or myself in the mirrors in Heaven (should there be those)... I'm not so sure. So I'll throw it out into the Realm and see what all the wiser minds than I have to say on our heavenly bodies. Thoughts?


Kevin Knox said...

I can be a naysayer, but I have to go with you on this one!

I've long thought heaven was for angels, and the remade Earth is for us and forever. But, I believe it's the universe. I think we'll spend the next several million years exploring the stars in a sinless state, adventuring with God. I doubt we'll need anything mechanical to do it, either.

And do you know how tic-tac-toe can be called cat's game after the first two moves? I think chess will be like that, too. We'll move on to more interesting challenges, like art. Writing will grow infinitely more fascinating, as the things we are trying to express grow deeper and more complex and the way we can express ourselves grows more precise. Can you imagine the chapter-long sentences that are perfectly comprehensible to everyone? And still surprising, because each person will be truly unique and different. The complexities revealed in you will endlessly fascinate me and vice versa.

I'm excited.

DugALug said...

Never really thought about it.

I've always figured that it doesn't matter when compared to experiencing God in all of His Glory.

I'd like to think that I could recognize fallen loved ones and rejoice in our reunion.

The Parable of Lazarus the beggar implies that we will recognize fallen ones... even those across the great void.

So whether we recognize them as we see them or our spiritual bodies recognize the other spiritual bodies, I believe we will have knowledge of the former that is carried over into the latter.

God Bless