With the news that author Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday, I went into my normal mantra of, “I’m going to die someday.” Though he was 90 years old (and I am so not 90), I still carry that specter of death around me. Even last night, I asked my husband how we would live without me if I died. His response, “Why do you think like that?”
I can’t seem to help it. Something about having a parent die when you’re ten years old messes with your seeming invincibility. It really freaked me out (in a happy way) when I lived beyond my father’s age when he died.
In Arthur C. Clarke’s last wishes, he gave details about his funeral. “Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral,” he wrote.
Does that sadden you? It should.
It got me to thinking. If I knew I were facing death, what would my wishes be for a funeral? I could conjure up power points and weepy folks saying stuff about me, but really, when it all came down to it, wouldn’t it be cool to do some sort of parallel celebration? Knowing that I was whooping and dancing and singing and reveling in Love personified and freedom and joy, why not have that happen on earth too, so we could all be part of the party? That’s really it, to celebrate Jesus on terra firma, and heaven’s golden streets.
Because, the truth is, we’ll all be saying His name and bowing our bodies before Him. Even those folks who never risked belief in Jesus. The Bible is clear: “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 9-11).
One of the coolest things I ever heard in a sermon came many years ago when the pastor said, “Worship is the language of heaven.” He then challenged us to practice that language as much as we could here on earth, in preparation. So the question becomes, “What are you doing today to learn and practice the language of heaven?”
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I love You. I worship You. I hold Your Name as the highest Name. I am sorry for worrying so much about silly earthly things. Forgive me for living on a false edge of security, for thinking things and money and perfect relationships and status will fill me. Oh dear Jesus, it’s really only You who is my security. I rest there now. I worship You now. I want to speak Your heavenly language today in preparation for That Day. Let worship be my language. Let it be the way I navigate this earth. Amen.