Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life in a Lava Lamp

So, I'm marathoning the second season of NBC's hit series "Community" today (ah student life, aint it grand!) and just watched an episode where Chevy Chase's character, Pierce, loses his mother. The rest of the characters spend the whole time talking about death and religious beliefs and what happens when people die.

What I think is great about this is that it raises the question of what happens to us when we die- specifically, it deals with the separation between body and soul. In Pierce's case, his fictional "reformed-neo-buddhist" cult has convinced him that his mother's soul has been vaporised and turned into a lava lamp, or something. So this got me thinking- as a Christian, I know that I have salvation in Christ and when He returns at the rapture, I'll be off to Heaven to worship God in eternity. Pretty rad! But what happens in between the death of my earthly body and the second coming of Jesus? Good question!

Let me just say now that I don't claim to have the answer! But I'm super excited for the day that I find out. Last year, our youth group had a sort of panel discussion with the leaders and some guest panel members, and the teens asked questions about the Bible and about faith and stuff. One of the questions that came up was "What happens when we die?" Our guest, Professor Ian Henderson from McGill University's New Testament Studies dept. (and also father of one of our teens), gave an answer of what he imagines death to be like, and I really liked his answer, so I'm going to re-phrase it and talk about it here a little!

Essentially, his idea was that when we die, we lose consciousness (obviously) for whatever amount of time it takes for the rapture to happen, and regain consciousness when it happens. He likened it to the way we feel when we sleep- we sleep for hours and hours, and whether we sleep for two hours or ten, we're not conscious enough to know how long we were out for. So dying is kind of like sleep! We lose consciousness, and when Jesus comes back to earth, we regain that consciousness, and because we weren't conscious that whole time, we all feel like it took the same amount of time. Also, a cool thought- when we wake up from sleep, we are refreshed, and I like to think that when we wake up from death, we are sort of refreshed again, in an even more amazing way!

What do you think about death and life afterward? How do you feel about that sleep analogy? Does your dead mother exist in a vaporized state inside of a lava lamp? Would love to hear your stories!

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