----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
To: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:36 AM
Subject: Heaven's garden
My Aunt Grace loved flowers and plants and was very active in her local garden club. Even when she lost most of her vision she didn't lose her appreciation for the garden. She passed from this life to the heavenly dimension earlier this month. It is difficult to conceive of one who is so alive and so in love with Creation's beauty no longer with us. My Uncle Dick and Aunt Grace were married for nearly 70 years and went through all of the seasons of life together. Their garden produced four strong young men and ten fine grandchildren. But how do you find "closure" for a loved one who is no longer with us? I love the picture that the apostle Paul creates in 1 Corinthians 15. He compares the whole process of a believer's death to the planting of a seed. As he said in verses 36-37: "What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain." When our loved ones who had placed their trust in the Lord die and their bodies are lowered into the ground they are, in a very real sense, like seeds that have been planted. But they do not germinate in the earth...they arise as a new immortal being in Heaven. Paul goes on in verses 42-50 to complete the picture. Here are some phrases from this section:
"What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable"
"It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power."
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."
"Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven."
"...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable."
My Aunt Grace would have loved this picture because she loved the beauty of flowers and plants that began as seeds, which were planted in earth and experienced a complete transformation into beauty rising out of the ground.
with love for Uncle Dick,