My six-year-old nephew recently came to me with questions about life after death that stopped me in my tracks. Would his parents die? Would his great grandfather recognize him in heaven? What happens to bad people?
Even at the age of six his questions capture the essence of many adults’ speculations about the afterlife. Dealing with loss, wondering what heaven will be like, and questioning whether there is an eternity outside of heaven are some of the main themes many people ponder.
When facing my own grief or trying to offer some sort of comfort to loved ones (of any age) who are dealing with loss, I am quickly reminded that I know very little about life after death.
New Church theology offers ideas that are not only comforting, but resonate deeply. In this issue, we explore some of these themes and ideas regarding life after death. Find hope and encouragement in the Rt. Rev. Louis B. King’s journey of facing loss on p.6. If you aren’t sure how to offer comfort to a friend who is grieving, consider the insights provided by readers and Anna Woofenden on p.10. Discover the gentle and loving transition the Lord has planned for each one of us in the excerpt from Emanuel Swedenborg’s most popular work Heaven and Hell, featured on p. 14. If the ideas in this issue get you thinking and wanting an opportunity for conversation on the topic, consider getting some friends
together and using the small group outline provided on p.18 to explore this theme in greater depth.
Know that in any questions, doubts, or fears you have about life after death the Lord is there with you gently leading.
General Church Outreach