But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
And their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality.” (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1 – 4)

It is comforting to think that my loved ones who have passed from this life are in the life eternal with the Divine. It comforts me also that those still on this life of side will pass over to be with those who have gone ahead. I did not know – I plainly tell you I do not know – what is in the eternal life to come. I have hopes, dreams, and wishes. And maybe those will be granted to me; but I trust that the Divine will do well by all of us who believe.

“Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples and the Lord will reign over them forever.” (Verses 5 – 8)

I am not sure what the writer of the Wisdom of Solomon thought of heaven, but it seems odd that those who have passed over will visit(?) and govern. I can only guess that heaven in the view of that writer will have hierarchy and authority as this world does. And those who have proved worthy in this life will given status in the life to come.

“Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.” (Verse 9)

Clearly there is differences in opinions of what will happen in the world to come. Will the present structure carry over, or will something new be done – that is the question that comes to my mind.

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:6-9)

I am reminded of Preacher and Seeker’s most recent conversation, where they talked about the expectations of the Messiah before Jesus’ time on earth, and the readjustment that believers after Jesus was taken up made to the traits and characteristics of the Messiah. It could well be that opinions and ideas of heaven adapted and changed as well.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 21:1-6a)

All Saints Day is the day we think about and remember those who have passed, and passed on. To another world? Another reality? A new way of living? Or, simply a collection of souls whose individuality and character have been lost because that was part of their body/mind connection? It is that possibility that scares me more than any Halloween ghoul, goblin, or witch!

As Christians we are to have faith in the Divine and faith that all will be well after we have passed from this world. For most the fear is whether they will be found worthy. I do not think I fear that as much as I fear the ideas and notions that I have heard about what heaven will be like. But then I remember that heaven will have those who I have loved dearly, and who loved me dearly as well. And my soul is at peace. Their faith is my faith; and if they are there, then I am sure it will be a place I will want to dwell in for eternity!