Thomas 3: Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, God’s kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
Thomas 18: The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our lives end? What is after?"
Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."
“All that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine, and I have been glorified through them.” (John 17:10).
All things are yours. That means being a Christian isn’t waiting on heaven to come, it’s about working for it now! It’s not about cutting yourself off from real life, it is about entering into it more fully, now! Life for a Christian isn’t about living forever, it’s about creating something that does. Jesus created something that we’re still talking about it 2,000 years later. Characters like St. Francis, St. Teresa, St. Patrick, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and other saints. Being a “saint” is successfully creating something that goes on after you do. If we truly believed this, imagine how parents would treat their children. Talk about heaven on earth.
Today we honor those saints. You know saints in your own life. Let me tell you about one I know. My Grandma Bet is a saint. Every time I hear a country-western song --- NOT a country song, I’m talking Gene Autry “Don’t Fence me in” type stuff—every time I see a red bird, I think of Grandma Bet. When I see a deer along the side of the road, I remember how we’d drive around looking for deer back in Ohio.
I’m over-joyed at these memories and then I’m extremely saddened… not because I’m remembering Grandma Bet who has died, but because I remember that gas was under a dollar back then. I’m SO happy when I think of my grandma. How privileged I was to have her in my life. We all have these saints in our lives currently, living today amongst us. I bet if you look at your own life you can name a few. But today is about honoring those saints like Grandma Bet who know heaven from the inside and every now and then send us a red bird or a deer to remind us that we’ll all be re-united some day.
So let’s name those saints. Take a few moments and think of someone who has died that has impacted your life. Do you have one in mind?