Pastor’s Pen: Make sure you are ready for the final move

Rev Jim Stothers.
Rev Jim Stothers.

By Rev Jim Stothers

Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things you can do, and I think I can agree with that!

I’m moving from my congregation in Greenisland to take up a central position within the Presbyterian Church and my wife and I have been making preparations to move.

As we’re ‘downsizing’ this means deciding what needs to be dumped, what might be useful to a charity, and what we plan to take with us to our new home.

Inevitably some items of great sentimental value have to be parted with, which is emotionally very stressful, even if necessary.

The apostle Paul thinks of our move to what in Co. Donegal they call our ‘long home’, the final move that death forces upon us. He sees it, though, as ‘upsizing’, moving from a ‘tent’ to a ‘house’: “For we know that when this tent we live in - our body here on earth - is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home he himself has made, which will last forever.” In other words, we move from temporary accommodation in our physical bodies here on earth to our permanent spiritual home in heaven.

But even though we are upsizing we still have to part with things.

The story is told of the funeral of the millionaire, John D. Rockefeller: A bystander edged up to Rockefeller’s accountant and asked, “Say, just how much did he leave behind?” The accountant replied, “He left it all. He didn’t take a thing with him.” And when I go I’ll leave behind exactly the same amount. And so will you: all of it. Unless you and I have what Jesus calls treasure in heaven; unless we’ve already made a significant deposit into our account in the Bank of Heaven.

Paul again: “Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” [Scripture references: 2 Corinthians 5.1 & 1 Corinthians 13.13]