Posted by: Bishop Mike Wagner
Between the celebration days of Thanksgiving and Christmas lies a solemn day of spiritual activity – Service for the Departed. Our understanding of this day is also accompanied by an emotional tenderness because we are drawn to the souls on yonder shore through ties of love and friendship. We all have family and life companions who have died over the course of our life and their passing left its trace on our soul. We have memories of how they looked, what they sounded like, and remember their character. In our mind and soul they are now static – unchanged.
Yet our Chief Apostle Schneider, during his service in Saskatoon, on March 12, 2017, broadened our horizon in understanding the workings of the vast realm of the departed. He said “our beloved ones in the yonder world prepare themselves as we are preparing ourselves for the return of Christ. Their evolution did not stop; they go on listening to the word, receiving Holy Communion, and working on their soul. Our joy is to know that when we meet in heaven, in the kingdom of God, they will not be the same as we knew them and we will not be the same as they knew us.”
There are two sides to this coin. First our souls imagination runs to perhaps a parent, spouse, or child in eternity and we wonder how this ‘evolution’ of spiritual growth has matured them, but the other side is the question we put to ourselves – how much have I grown in my faith, in the likeness of Christ since they left this earthly veil?
It is of great comfort to our perhaps still grieving soul that they walk the same path of salvation as do we, that we still accompany each other in prayer, and still come under the word of teaching towards completion.
This thought by our Chief Apostle makes us realize how dynamic God’s work is here as well as in the realms of the departed.