Today’s Author: Milt Warkentien

What or where is paradise for you?

In Luke 23:43, Jesus tells the criminal being crucified with him “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” How do you picture heaven? In your mind is heaven your paradise? Are heaven and paradise the same image in your mind? 

I’ve been working on the All Saints service, and thinking about all the saint’s Prince of Peace has lost this year, and all the saints in my life, and in doing so, the image of paradise has been on my mind. The picture with this devotion is taken by me, sitting in my kayak, watching the sunset. That definitely is a place of paradise, but not what I picture heaven being like.

In John 14:2, Jesus says “my Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you.” I really like this transcription of this text, as it uses HOUSE. I’ve seen it with manor, or mansions, too, but I like house. It makes me think of Jesus as one of us. I don’t picture Jesus with a fancy house. I picture Jesus living in a simple, cozy, and welcoming house. Can you picture meeting up with all your saints at a backyard barbecue, or something, at God’s house? Maybe it’d be by a lake. Maybe it’d be in the tropics. Maybe it is in the forest, or on a mountain, but wherever it is, God’s house would be welcoming. 

What a wonderful feeling I get when I think of meeting friends at God’s house in Paradise. Take time today to reflect on your saints, living and deceased, and picture being with them at God’s house in paradise. What picture of paradise do you have now? If it’s at a lake, I hope there’s plenty of kayaks and canoes 🙂

 Dear God, Help us feel our saints loving arms wrapped around us as we live out each day. Help us remember that as long as our saints live in our hearts they also live through us each day. May the memories of our saints, ease the pain that they aren’t with us physically anymore, and comfort us until we meet at God’s house, in paradise. Amen

“Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday contact Pastor Peter.