Saturday, May 18, 2013
i wonder where heaven could really be
This is the question I asked some kids in Sunday school last week. We had just told the story of the ascension by using a large candle (that we call "the Christ candle") as a visual focus.
"When the light is out, we say 'Christ has died.'" I moved my hand slowly down the side of the candle to signify Jesus' burial.
"But God raised Jesus from the dead and so we say 'Christ is risen!"
As I moved my hand up the candle and lit the wick, the kids naturally wanted to respond with our church's traditional litany: "He is risen, indeed!"
I smiled, "That's right. 'Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.'"
I went on to tell them how Jesus met with his friends after he came back to life. He told them to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit so they would have power to tell everyone about Jesus and about the kingdom of God. Then...he told them he was going away. They would not see him anymore, but he would be with them.
One of the kids said, "Yes, like the Christ candle. We light it to remind us Christ is with us even though we can't see him."
"That's right," I said. "Then, he disappeared from their sight into a cloud."
I took the snuffer and made a "cloud" with the smoke from the changed light. I raised the snuffer way up high, as high as I could reach so the smoke followed it. Then, we wondered together where Jesus had gone.
"Heaven," someone said.
"Yes, and I wonder where heaven could really be?"
One of the children pointed way up high where I had been holding the candle snuffer.
"Hm, yes. And I wonder if it could be other places, too. Watch."
I lit the candle again and as I applied the snuffer to it slowly, I said, "Watch. Watch closely now. Watch where the cloud is."
"It's all around us," one of them said.
"That's right," I said. "It's very close to us. Closer than we realize. I wonder if heaven could be right next to us."
"Yeah, probably," said a little one, believing.