Do you remember the difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees? The Sadducees don’t believe in life after death – that’s why they’re "sad you see" (tee hee). I couldn’t resist sharing that little joke – it always makes me smile, and I’ve always remembered the difference between the two groups since I first heard it.
How would our lives be different if we didn’t believe in the resurrection from the dead? I think it’s so important to hold the hope of heaven in our hearts everyday.
I remember a time several years ago when I felt very homesick. It was like when I was 9 and tried to spend the night with a friend – I had a stomachache, and couldn’t go to sleep. (I finally called my mom and went back home!) I was trying to figure out why I was feeling like that… was it because we had moved to California and I was missing my family? No, it wasn’t that… was it because my kids were growing up and moving away from home? No… it wasn’t that either. What’s wrong with me?
Then in prayer, I heard the Lord say to me "You’re just homesick for heaven." And as I thought about it, I knew it was true. We were created for eternity and for union with our awesome, loving God, and that won’t be realized until we finally go home. We aren’t meant to settle in here forever. We should feel homesick sometimes for the glory that awaits us when we meet our Savior face to face!
The very first song I wrote is called "Longing for Heaven". Here’s one of the verses:
"When I look up to the heavens, in the clouds I look for You.
Coming down to take us with You to the place You have prepared.
With no darkness, no more sorrow, only peace eternally.
Come Lord Jesus, precious Savior, take us home."
I pray that we will let our belief in heaven help us face our challenges with courage and conviction and help us keep our eyes on the prize – life eternal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3.