I have had a friend on my mind all morning…in fact, I have had her on my mind the last several days since we received word that she has died.  She was such a light in this world, and now she has left us, and along with her goes her fabulous sense of humor, her robust laugh, and her insightful musings on life. Last night when we were at Good Friday services I thought of her again when they repeated Jesus words on the cross…”Today you will be with me in paradise”.  Tomorrow morning, we will be singing songs about his Ascension into heaven and I will still be thinking of her.  She will soon be in Paradise.

Being a Christian, this is supposed to be the moment we were born for and to embrace. To be born, to live, and then to die so we can live eternally.  It sounds so simple, yet, I doubt there are many of us who really embrace the idea of dying.  We are so invested in our life here on earth and our loved ones.   Somehow, way down in the depth of our being, we know what a gift this life is with our name written in Gods own book of life, and being human, we really do not want to give it up.  Yes! We want to go to heaven, but we are resistant to the process of getting there.

Paradise!  Such a beautiful word! I find myself thinking about the fact that if I am so enthralled with Gods earthly creation, I am sure to be overwhelmed  when I see what he has in store for us in Paradise!.  Thank you God for your promise of a perfect life beyond the grave.

This Easter, as in many of my Easters past, I will be remembering all those who have gone on to Paradise.  While we miss their presence in our lives, we hold out our conviction that it is they who are Blessed to live in a place where there is no more pain, no more trouble, and no more hate.  Imagine a world where one could live in harmony and happiness and peace!  Aren’t they the lucky ones?

We have had so many friends and family leave this earth and as they pass away, each one serves the purpose of a reminder of our own eventual death.  None of us know when this will be, but we can take heart in the idea of us walking in Paradise!

“Lord forgive them for they know not what they do!”  This encompasses so many of our negative human thoughts, words and actions!  His Blessed assurance is ours when we ask for forgiveness.  Thank you God for giving up SO much to save a wretch like me!

 “Lift high the cross”  Christ the Lord is risen today, HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH”

Come, I will take you to Paradise!Come, I will take you to Paradise!

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