Supporting churches to include people with Autism and Learning Disabilties

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I had such sad news this week. One of our GNG (church group for adults with learning disabilities)  members died.   I am so upset.

He was so friendly and loved to tell jokes. He knew so much about the Bible, liked to pray out loud and we all loved him.

He never complained that he was reliant on others to do his personal care routine.  He never complained that he couldn’t get around without needing someone to push his wheelchair.

He loved Jesus.  At Good News Group he read the Bible and said the prayers, some he had written himself. He loved being involved in the dramas and was brilliant at knowing  the answers to Bible quizzes.  He knew about being saved and all he needed to know about heaven.  His wife will be devastated.  She will miss him terribly.  And so will we.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:35-57 (NIV)

The resurrection body
But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’ How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.  Not all flesh is the same: people have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.  There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of the earthly bodies is another.  The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendour.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.  The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.  As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed –  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

And that is why I firmly believe there will be no wheelchairs in heaven. None of could comprehend what this ‘spiritual body’ will be like and some of us may even be a bit afraid that we will lose our individuality.  But God is good and now this lovely man we all loved knows what it is like…and is praising God with the freedom we can all only dream about.

If it comforts you – this is a wonderful song  I can Only Imagine – by Mercy Me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xwzItqYmII 

 

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