Wednesday, January 21, 2009


My previous post pointed out the spiritual joy apparent in the lives of two acquaintances who entered eternal life in recent days. At both funerals I heard objections to my observation of this joy. I am sure such objections will also be heard at my own funeral. It seemed to be based on the known imperfections of each individual or perhaps their unique life stories. It may also be due to a perception that sinners cannot be saints. (The saints are those who enjoy eternal life in the company of God.)

Certainly Christianity would have no appeal or offer any hope if this were true yet I think it is a widely held common opinion that only perfect people could be saints. I don't know about you but I don't know any such people. Even Christian doctrine only claims sinless lives for Jesus and his mother. The words of Jesus himself (eg; Luke 7:36-50) indicate that it is precisly sinners who he came to invite into eternal life. At several places in the Book of Acts even living Christians were refered to as saints.

If none of us is perfect then how is it that any of us could bear to be in God's presence and a guest at the wedding feast of the Lamb? John in his vision of heaven asks the elder:

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows." He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." For this reason they stand before God's throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Acts
7:13-17 , NAB)

The journey to the throne and the wedding feast of the Lamb is one of purification. Elsewhere in scripture it is described as burning away our inperfections as we approach the Light of the divine presence. We have been invited from the byways and offered a wedding garment.

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