I was intrigued by this topic and wondered where Pastor Garey was going to go with it. Would it be fire and brimstone? Would it be another sermon from my childhood in another denomination that reminded me that I needed to be on the "right" side of the "gates"? Thoughts of Heaven and Hell as well as imagery that surrounds this topic can be polarizing and I was curious about how our new pastor was going to handle this topic. To my surprise and delight, the sermons were deep and rich. Pastor Garey was able to open my thoughts on what I perceived as Heaven and Hell.
To be honest, the thought of Hell is frightening even today. One cannot set aside a lifetime of imagery to see a new perspective easily. But put in historical context, the images and how they may have evolved begin to make sense. I never thought of Hell as the Dante version or for that matter even in Mozart's operatic piece of Don Giovanni. My version of Hell is actually a cold place - stark, isolated, and empty - and definitely no place I would want to spend eternity.
Heaven on the other hand can also be very stereotypical with images of fluffy clouds, peace, and air. I often imagined what Heaven would look like and what I would look like for that matter - would I be young, would I be the age I was when I died or the age I think I am! In my version of Heaven, I think that all the unknowable become knowable. All the secrets of the universe are unlocked to you in nanoseconds that have taken eons to create. My version of Heaven is whole and large and has no bounds.
I will leave you with one thought. Pastor Garey reminded us that our God is a good God and that while I may not have forgiven someone in my lifetime for a transgression that person or persons would be there, "up" there with me, forgiven by Him.
Whoa. Something to definitely think about.