by Tony Raburn
While the family and I were in Dallas visiting family, I took my children to Six Flags. It’s an amusement park, like Elitch Gardens. And I remember the anticipation my children had just thinking about how much fun it was going to be. We went and had a great day at the park. So much so, that we bought season passes so they could go to Six Flags for free every time we went to Dallas for the rest of this year.
Seeing their smiles also made me think of the time, about two years ago, when we took the kids to Disney World. They were excited while we made plans (and while I was planning to pay for it). There was even more anticipation then, and they smiled each time we talked about it. It was like that commercial where the brother and the sister are looking out their window trying to imagine what it was going to be like. They were going to the “happiest place on Earth”! Their mother came in and told them they needed to go to sleep and they said, “We’re too excited to sleep!”
As a father, I want to let my kids experience that kind of joy often. But, truth is, I can’t afford to. The cost of admission to the park is roughly a house payment. And Colorado it not exactly close to Florida, so there is the cost of travel. So we don’t go very often. But I love seeing those smiling faces on my children — to see all of that joy.
When was the last time you felt like that? It seems that we know how to experience that kind of joy when we are young, but we forget to bring it with us as we grow up. And we spend the rest of our lives looking for it. We WANT to experience that kind of anticipation and joy again.
But to get lost in our schoolwork. We get lost in our jobs. In our finances. In our relationships. Yes, we even can get lost in church issues. We get lost in our sickness. We get lost in our grief.
We’ve come to a point in our service where we are going to take the Lord’s Supper. As a family, when we do this, we are proclaiming our belief in Jesus Christ. We are proclaiming that there was a man who came to this Earth, who lived a sinless life, and who was sacrificed for our sins. He made that sacrifice so that we can be with him for all eternity — all expenses paid.
We’re the ones who should be paying. We’re the ones who have done wrong. But he sacrificed himself, so that we can have eternal life.
Take a look around you. Look to your left, to your right. Let me see some heads turn. These are your brothers and sisters. We’re all here to do the same thing. We all believe the same way.
I am your brother, and I have a secret to tell you. Listen closely, because here it is: we’re going to heaven. Did you hear what I said?
We’re Going To Heaven.
WE’RE GOING TO HEAVEN!
If it were appropriate for me to jump up and down while saying it, I would!
Doesn’t that make you feel joy? Doesn’t that send chills up your spine? Doesn’t that make you look out the window and dream of what it is going to be like? Doesn’t that make you smile so big that your mouth can’t even reach that wide?
Brothers and sisters, our Father has GIVEN us an unlimited pass, with no expiration date, to “the greatest place – EVER”! And our brother, Jesus Christ, PAID the way for us to get there.
Children’s excitement on going to an amusement park is like our joy on thoughts of heaven.