It seems to me, considering some of the final options — say heaven or hell —  that in the end of the very end, we will all get what we really want, make our own bed, choose our favorite flavor, like the bright eternal hotel we end up in and feel right at home there.

Heaven — I think —  will be perfect for the jaded, the faded, the doubters and the flouters. It will be an excellent place for all those who have been wounded by religion, by church, by false church leaders and by well-meaning but terribly damaging Christian do-gooders.

How so?

Heaven will begin with a long silence; this will be to heal us from church.

And hell?

Hell will begin with a call to worship, so that it is clear that the church endures forever there.

“Really?”

“Perhaps.”

Think about it.

With all the pastors, elders and church leaders that end up in hell, for sure there will be church. In hell, they’ll be some slayin’ and prayin’ and capital improvements and passin’ the offering.  Churches — large and small — will thrive in fierce competition with each other, on fire to win the faithful into the fiery fold.

And what about heaven?

Well, it isn’t that there won’t be worship in heaven, it will just look more like a party than a church service.

I take this very personally.

I am confident that if I get to heaven (and perhaps being a pastor makes it somewhat questionable), I will be assigned a very low place there — far from the throne —  down by the river with the others who barely got in.

I’ll like that.

There down by the river, eating and drinking and telling jokes. We will be using some strikingly earthy language, (one of the things that will remain), and Jesus won’t mind. We will party hearty —  sing, laugh, dance, prance and spiritually enhance.

Really?

Think about it.

A good heart isn’t proven by the use of good words.

True worship isn’t church music. It is much more than that. I think it has a lot more in common with sharing your food with the hungry, and “weeping with those who weep.”

And spiritual  healing and the redemption of souls  — that has more in common with silence than sermons.

Church doesn’t make you a Christian. It won’t get anybody into heaven, I think Jesus does that, makes us fit for heaven — right?

Don’t get me wrong!

I love church, my church, all the true churches on earth. I love them, and the people in them, with all their flaws and claws, (well, not that so much), but what we are doing here is so much different than will will happen there that it isn’t even funny.

Ahead, in heaven, is healing, and peace and adventure and exploration of the stars and fun and laughter and good gardens and good food and outlandish creativity and joy that will utterly and totally eclipse and shadow and end all our feeble efforts to get it right here.

I can hardly wait.

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