If you are like me, I bet you’ve wondered what Heaven is like. Is St Peter going to be there to greet me? Are there pearly gates to go through to enter Heaven, gates which are pathways to dwell in God’s eternal Kingdom of unending life, love, and peace? When I die will I have done enough to get into Heaven? I have been told my entire life that, if I ask for forgiveness of my sins and truly repent, my admission into Heaven is guaranteed.
The following joke is an adaptation of the one used on November 5, 2022, in the sermon given by Father Bob Wismer at St. Francis Episcopal Church – Houston. In fact, I give full credit to Father Wismer for this week’s prayer as his words and thoughts were used to compose it. (Thank you, Father Bob).
Bubba was a rancher in the Texas Panhandle. At the moment he died Bubba wondered if he’d get into Heaven. Bubba regained consciousness. Suddenly, Bubba was standing at the pearly gates. Saint Peter said, “Glad to see you, Bubba.” Bubba replied, “This is the moment I’ve hoped for my entire life. Through the gates I see others waiting for me. My mother and dad. My dog Blue. My brother Bill who died in Vietnam at just 18. I see beautiful mansions. Can I please go into Heaven now?”
Peter said, “Not yet. Heaven has gotten very crowded. God now requires each soul to pass a test to get in. You must get 100 points to pass the test.” Bubba, said, “If I must take the test, go ahead.” Peter said, “What have you done to serve God to be worthy of admission?” Bubba, said, ‘I have been a member of the Cowboy Church Without Walls my whole life.” Peter replied, “That’s 3 points.” “What else?” said Peter. “I have never missed a Sunday church service in 78.5 years.”, said Bubba. Peter said, “That’s 2 more points.” Peter asked, “What else?” Bubba anxiously replied, “I am a church elder, and gave 10% of the profits from ranching to the church every year. I have been the eldest Elder of the Cowboy Church without Walls for 10 years.” Peter said, “That’s 2 points.”
God has spoken in Scripture about getting into Heaven.
“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Dear God, as Your child, I want to get into Heaven at the end of the life You gifted me. I can only imagine how beautiful Heaven is or what it feels like to be with You face to face and be embraced by Your love in Eternity.
God, in prayer please remind me that Your Kingdom is not only for the dead. Your Kingdom is also for the living. For those like me on Earth.
God, when I say Your prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, I ask that Your Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven. When I pray to get into Heaven, please help me to be as equally committed to getting Heaven into me.