From the Old Testament

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all
generations. Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return,
ye children of men. For a thousand years in Thy sight
are as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the
night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they
are as asleep; in the morning they are like grass which
groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth and groweth
up; in the evening it is cut down and withereth. The
days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if
by reason of strength they are fourscore years, yet is
their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off,
and we fly away. So teach us to number our days, that
we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm
90:1-6,10,12)

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion;
slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good
to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all
His works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call
upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will
fulfil the desire of them that fear Him; he also will hear
their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all
them that love Him; but all the wicked will He destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; and let
all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever. (Psalm
145:8,9,17-21)

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord
pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame;
He remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his
days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and
the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy
of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon
them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto
children’s children; to such as keep His covenant, and
to those that remember His commandments to do
them. (Psalm 103:13-18)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He
maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth
me beside the sill waters. He restoreth my soul; he
leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s
sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou are with
me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou
preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup
runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house
of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)

From the New Testament

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth
corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor
steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart
be also. (Matt 6:19-21)

Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in
God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are
many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told
you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be
also. (John 14:1-3)

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses
showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God
of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for
all live unto Him. (Luke 20:37,38)

And Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is
with me, to give every man according as his work shall
be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the
End, the First and the Last (Rev. 22:12-14).

From the Doctrines of the New Church

[Everyone] is so created that as to their internal
they cannot die; for they can believe in God, and can
also love God, and can thus be conjoined with God
by faith and love; and to be conjoined with God is to
live to eternity. (AC 10591)

After the death of the body, the [person’s spirit]
appears in the spiritual world in a human form,
altogether as it appeared in the natural world. [It] also
enjoys the faculty of sight, of hearing, of speaking, and
of feeling, as before in the world; and [it] is endowed
with every faculty of thought, of will, and of action, as
before in the world; in a word, [it] is a [human being]
in all things and in every particular, as [it] was before
in the world, except that [it] is not encompassed with
that [material] body which [it] had before; [the body is
left behind with death, and the spirit never returns to
it]. This continuation of life is what is meant by the
resurrection. (Arcana Coelestia 10594, 10595)
[When a person] is said to die, … he does not
die; he is only separated from the material body which
had served him for use in the world, but which can no
longer be of any use to him; for [the person himself]
lives. [The person] is said to live, because [a human] is
not a [human] from the body but from the spirit; for it
is the spirit that thinks in [a person]; and the thought
with affection which makes the spirit, also makes the
[person]. Hence it is that when [someone] dies, they
only pass from one world to another. (Heaven and
Hell 445)

In order that [a person] may live to eternity, it is
necessary that what is mortal, or the material body,
should be taken away … by death. When this is done
that which is immortal is uncovered, and [the person]
becomes [an inhabitant of the spiritual world] still in
the human form. (Divine Providence 324:3)
When a [person] passes from the natural into
the spiritual world, he takes with him all things belonging
to him as a [human being], except his earthly body.
For he is still in a body, as he was in the world, and to
all appearance in the same body; but the body is spiritual
and wholly distinct from what is natural. [Everyone,
when] a spirit in a spiritual body, enjoys every
external and internal sense which he had when he was
in the world. In a word, when [anyone] passes from
one life into the other, or from one world into the
other, it is the same as if he passed from one place to
another; and he carries with him all things which he
had in himself as a [human being]. Therefore after
death, which is only the death of the earthly body, it
cannot be said that [a person] has lost anything that
belonged to him as a [human being]. (Heaven and Hell
461)

Faith Ethel Symington Schnarr
June 19, 1910 - June 16, 2009
A Memorial Address by the Rev. James P. Cooper
19 June, 2009
Turner & Porter, Bloor West Village

At the time of the passing of a friend, we are
reminded of our own mortality. We naturally begin to
think about the nature of the life to come. Our faith is
tested when we ask ourselves if we really believe there
is a heaven for us, but yet there is a lingering fear that
if we are not obedient to God’s law we may fail to
reach heaven. There are so many different ideas about
the life after death, so many different teachings within
the doctrines of the various churches, that it is difficult
to know what to believe.

At such times, it is best to seek comfort and
instruction from what Jesus Himself taught about the
kingdom of heaven, for with Him, we can be sure that
He taught the truth, and that He taught from Divine
Love for our eternal welfare.

Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in
heaven and in earth” (Mt. 28:18). Jesus Christ is the
king of Heaven, and He alone is able to teach about
heaven with absolute authority. Those who believe that
He is the king of Heaven will never perish, but “will
have eternal life” (John 3:15).

But who will go to heaven? Jesus said, “he that
doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Mt.
7:21) will enter into the kingdom of heaven, not those
who only call upon his name, saying “Lord, Lord”
(Mt. 7:21).

Jesus also tells us who will go to heaven by telling
us who will not go: He said, “Except your righteousness
shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes
and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom
of heaven” (Mt. 5:20). He also teaches that unless
we become childlike and innocent, “Ye shall not enter
into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3).

The gospels record in three different places (Mt.
19:16, Mk. 10:17, 18:18) that a rich young man asked
Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, to earn a
place in heaven. In each of the three gospels, the
record is the same. Jesus said to him that if he wished
to go to heaven he must begin by being obedient to the
10 commandments; then he should shun earthly possessions;
be charitable to the poor; and do these
things because He asks it of us.

In another place the gospels tell us that a lawyer
asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.
Jesus answered the question with another question,
asking the lawyer what, in his opinion, was the law. He
replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,
and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”
(Lk. 10:27), and Jesus told him that he was right.
The doctrine that Jesus Christ Himself taught is
that if we wish to enter into heaven, to enjoy eternal life
with Him, then we must do two things: To obey the
commandments, and to love others by being kind and
helpful to them.

Faith met Wilfrid, a widower, at their mutual
work at the Ontario Hydro. She was capable, independent,
and an excellent secretary.

She enjoyed needlepoint, bridge, entertaining,
and cooking. She and Wilfrid travelled North America
together gathering data for a family tree that Wilfrid
was preparing. She organized and typed the material
for him. .

Faith had been married to Wilfrid, whom she
called “Bill,” for more than 35 years when he passed
away in 1990. A caring and loving wife to Wilfrid,
nursed through many illnesses. She has spent the last
years of her life in a nursing home as her ability to care
for herself diminished with increasing age. At last, the
physical body was not longer able to serve as a home
for the spirit, and she was released to enter into spiritual
life. We are celebrating her resurrection into eternal
life on the 99th anniversary of her birth.

A few minutes ago, we read what Jesus Christ
Himself taught about what we must do, and how we
must live if we are to inherit eternal life. But what does
He tell us about the life that awaits us there, the life that
our friend Faith is now entering?

The Lord taught many parables about heaven,
usually comparing it to some kind of farm or vineyard
because that was the kind of illustration that would be
understood by the widest audience in that day. In each
case, He said that entering heaven was like a harvest,
for as the grains of wheat are all harvested, we too will
all face death in our own time. Once there, there will be
a judgement, and those who have followed the 10
commandments, shunned material possessions, shown
charity to the poor, and followed the Lord will find
eternal happiness. The rest, the chaff, shall have their
own reward, according to the quality of their life.
Once there, we will find that heaven is like a
vineyard, or a kingdom, or a farm, or fishing in that
there will be people working, doing things for others,
using the tools and the soil and the gifts that have been
given to them by God to produce things useful to others,
to welcome newcomers, and to teach about eternal
life.

The amazing and wonderful thing is that as time
passes in her new life, her new, angelic body will begin
to reflect the strength and vigour of her spirit. The
doctrine of the New Church tells us that,
“Those who are in heaven are continually
advancing to the spring of life; and to a spring
so much the more delightful and happy, the
more thousands of years they live, and this to
eternity, with increase according to the progressions
and degrees of their love, charity and
faith. Women who have died old and worn out
with age, and have lived in faith in the Lord, in
charity toward the neighbour, and in happy conjugial
love with a husband, after a succession of
years come more and more into the flower of
youth and early womanhood, and into a beauty
which exceeds all idea of beauty ever perceivable
by our sight. Goodness and charity is what
forms and makes a resemblance of itself, and
causes the delight and beauty of charity to shine
forth from the minutest parts of the face, so that
they themselves are forms of charity. …In a
word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young;
those who have lived in love to the Lord and in
charity towards the neighbour, become such
forms, or such beauties, in the other life. All the
angels are such forms, with innumerable variety;
and of these heaven consists” (HH 414).

Faith lived a life where she tried in all ways to be
helpful to her family and friends, especially her husband
Bill. She tried to use whatever strength and skills
she had to take from God’s bounty and cause it to
multiply. She was a woman, who in her own way, tried
to do what was right, and to help others. “Of such is
the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14) Amen.

Closing Prayer: O Lord of our fathers, most merciful
Lord Jesus Christ, from Whose life and power all live
to eternity, we ask that You grant to us the wisdom to
understand that in the passing away from this life of
one whom we loved, there is nothing but the operation
of Your love and mercy. We also ask that You lead us
to acknowledge that even though we mourn our loss,
everything that You do works to support Your eternal
plan of a heaven from the human race, that through the
death of the body, You bestow the gift of eternal life
to all those who love You and keep Your commandments.
Teach us all, O Lord, to feel and know in our
hearts that Your way is truth, that Your mercy is everlasting,
and that in Your presence alone is life, and
peace, and joy forever. Amen.