The Very Long Story
Jeannette looks at it closely, ‘I love how the colours go from white to pink in this one,’
‘Yes, it’s so pretty.’
Looking at the beauty of the flowers makes Summer feel homesick, ‘I wish my Mum was here.’
‘Does your Mum love flowers?’
‘Yes’, she replies, ‘Mum likes flowers a lot. She would love these gardens.’
‘My Mum does too. We can tell them about it’, suggests Jeannette.
Summer thinks this is a great idea. ‘I am going to do that’, she says.
'And remember Summer, one day we can live in heaven. I want to don't you?'
‘Yes, and I want my Mum to live here too.’
‘Does your Dad like flowers?’ asks Jeannette.
‘Yes, he takes pictures of flowers for my Mum when he goes away.’
‘Oh, that’s nice. My father grows lots of flowers in our garden. Let’s tell our parents we want them to live in heaven with us’, suggests Jeannette.
Summer agrees and looks forward to fulfilling her pledge.
Suddenly they hear the voice of Jesus. ‘Yoohoo girls. There are more flowers over here.’
The girls laugh and happily catch up. After walking past a number of mansions, Jesus stops at a door. ‘Can you see who lives here?’ Summer reads the golden name, ‘It says Elijah.’
Jesus knocks on the door, and in a moment it opens. ‘Hello Elijah, we have some visitors for you.’
‘Oh, come on in. Welcome to my home’, he says.
After pleasant introductions, Elijah invites the children to choose chairs for themselves.
Jeannette and Summer head for the same chair. As the girls sink into the softness of the purple cushions, they cry out, ‘Oooooh, It’s lovely.’ Oma exclaims, ‘It’s like floating on a cloud.’ Kevin sinks so far into his cushion he can hardly be seen. ‘Hey, where am I?’ he laughs.
Elijah smiles and turns to Jesus, ‘I thought they would enjoy the chairs.’ Gaining his composure, Kevin asks, ‘Jesus, you told me that David is dead, but Moses was dead too.’
Jesus nods His head. ‘Yes, it is true, but Moses was resurrected from the dead.’
‘Kevin’, continues Jesus, ‘you are now in the home of a man who did not die.’
Summer looks at Jesus and says, ‘I thought everyone died and turned to dust.’
‘Yes Summer it is true, but there are exceptions. Elijah and Enoch are exceptions.’
Jesus invites Elijah to explain. ‘I was born a sinner like everyone else, but I listened to the Spirit’s voice and surrendered my heart to God. The Spirit gave me power to obey God’s Law. It was the same for Enoch. But God had a reason why we did not die.’
‘What is it?’ asks Jeannette.
‘It has to do with other people who will never die’, he replies.
Kevin is curious again. 'Oh, who are they?'
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They did not Die
‘These are the names of those who will inherit the kingdom and can eat of the tree of life.
‘Jesus’, asks Jeannette, ‘is my name on one of the doors?’
‘And mine?’ wonders Kevin.
Summer is quiet, and then asks, ‘Jesus is it true you can’t tell us if our names are on the doors because it depends on whether we love you and keep God’s Law?
‘That’s right my dear. It must be your own decision.’
Suddenly there is a knock on the door. Elijah gets up and opens it, exclaiming, ‘Oh how wonderful, come in my brother.’
Elijah turns to those in the room and announces, ‘Everyone, I’d like you to meet Enoch.’
The children are happy.
Kevin laughs, ‘We have been talking about you?’
‘Well now’, smiles Enoch. ‘I wonder what you were saying.’
Enoch sits down and Elijah continues. ‘We have just been speaking about the fact that we did not die.’
‘I praise God for the privilege of being taken without seeing death’, states Enoch.
‘Yes’, agrees Elijah. ‘It is the same for me. I praised God all the way.’
Jesus enters the discussion and tells the children that these men and symbols. ‘Elijah and Moses are symbols of the time when the Son of God will return in power and glory. Elijah is a symbol of people who won’t die, and Moses is a symbol of those who are resurrected.’
‘What about Enoch?’ asks Kevin.
Before waiting for an answer Jeannette asks, ‘Is it the same as Elijah?’
Jesus responds. ‘Mmmm, it could be, but no.’
‘It might have something to do with you’, hints Moses.’
‘With us?’ asks Kevin.
‘Yes’, replies Jesus. ‘Enoch’s main symbolism is to represent those who live at the end of time. That could be you.’
Enoch confirms these words. ‘Children and grandma, living close to God is the key. After I had Methuselah, I walked closer to God. I wanted to be with Him. I longed to be close to Him. One day God decided to take me to His home so I would be closer to Him, and that is what God wants of you all.’
The children are quiet.
Enoch speaks softly, ‘I want to meet you in heaven one day, so will you walk close to God and Jesus?’
The children nod their heads.
Jesus stands up, and turning to his hosts says, ‘My friends, it is time for us to go. The children have a lot to think about.’
‘Thank you Elijah and Enoch’, says Summer. ‘I want to meet you in heaven.’
‘Me too’, adds Jeannette
‘And me’, says Kevin.
Jesus answers. ‘Dear ones, I will give you a clue. Listen carefully. When the Son of God returns to earth in power and glory, those who love God will rise out of the ground young and beautiful. They will come up when the Son calls, ‘Arise, ye that sleep in the dust.’
‘That will be wonderful’, says Jeannette.
‘Yes, but listen’, counsels Jesus. ‘You are waiting to hear about those who will not die.’
The children listen carefully.
‘After all the faithful dead have been resurrected, those who are alive, who love Jesus and keep His commandments, will begin to rise from off the ground. Their feet will leave the grass, and they will meet in the air those who have been made alive. Together they will go to heaven.’
‘I know, I know’, claims Kevin.
‘Tell me young man’, invites Jesus.
‘Those who are alive when You come back.’
Jesus nods in agreement, but adds, ‘You need to qualify these people because there are two groups on the earth at the time.’
‘I know’, says Jeannette. ‘Those who love You and keep God’s Law.’
‘Yes, that’s right’, says Jesus. ‘These ones will travel through the Orion Nebula to the holy city. On the sea of glass they will receive beautiful jewelled crowns and a harp. Then they will be escorted through the gates into the city to their very own mansion.’
‘Oooooh’, exclaim the children. ‘Will these be some of those mansions?’
‘Yes’, answers Jesus. ‘Did you notice each mansion has a golden name above the door, just like Eljiah?’
‘No, I didn’t notice’, admits Summer. She looks at Jeannette who shakes her head.
Jesus smiles and explains.
The children arrive early at the New Jerusalem. Kevin is anxious to visit the man who did not die, and as soon as he sees Jesus asks, ‘Tell us who we are going to meet today.’
Jesus responds with a twinkle in His eye, ‘That’s my secret sonny.’
‘Ooooh, that’s not fair’, scolds Kevin.
‘Come’, invites Jesus, ‘we are going to a mansion.’
Walking through the beautiful gardens, Jeannette and Summer linger among the flowers.
Jesus walks on with the young boy and asks, ‘Kevin, tell me what your Dad has read you so far from the book of Numbers.’
‘We have only read the first one about the children of Israel complaining because there were giants in the promised land.’
Jesus asks, ‘Did they believe God could give them power to conquer the land?’
‘No’, he responds. ‘They said they wanted to die in the wilderness.’
‘What did God say?
Kevin answers with conviction. ‘Okay then, you will die in the wilderness.’
‘And did they?’
‘Yes’ he replies, ‘but it was their own fault.’
‘Remember this story Kevin’, counsels Jesus. ‘And as you keep reading, see if you notice something important.’
Meanwhile the girls enjoy the beauty of the garden of flowers. They stop every now and then to look more closely at the flowers.
‘Summer, I love it’, says Jeannette. ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to have all these flowers at home?’
‘Yes’, she replies, ‘I could live among the roses forever.’
Summer cups a rose in her hands and leans towards it,
‘You are beautiful.’.