TITLE: The Happiest Place
DATE: November 7, 2018
TEXT: Matthew 25:41, 44-46 (ESV) 41 “Then (Jesus) he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. … 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Happiest Place on Earth
Most people know that the Disney Corporation has made that unverifiable claim for itself for a good many years. Although you may not agree with their slogan, you have to concede that many special memories are made at the Disney parks. Indeed, for some people, there’s just no other place they would rather be.
Which can cause a problem.
You see, before some of the Disney Superfans pass away they make a request: “Scatter my ashes at Disney.” And the survivors do as they have been asked. Creemains have been deposited in flower beds, on bushes, on Magic Kingdom lawns and in the moat underneath the flying elephants of the Dumbo ride. Of course, the favorite place to place ashes is the Haunted Mansion.
It is a practice Disney dislikes. If they catch you distributing Uncle Charley, they will escort you out of the park. If they find the ashes, they will send out a “Hepa Cleanup” code to their maintenance department. That code means a special vacuum needs to be brought in which is capable of picking up the ultrafine remains.
So, as you can see, there is a conflict at the The Happiest Place on Earth. What makes the deceased Superfan happy has the opposite effect on the Disney Corporation. It is a problem with no simple or obvious resolution. Which is why loving survivors of Superfans will keep smuggling ashes into the park and caretakers will do their best to stop them.
As I wrote about The Happiest Place on Earth, my thoughts understandably turned to the “Happiest Place Anywhere.” You know, the place called, “Heaven.” I got to wondering, “Are there any conflicts, complaints and criticisms about heaven’s admission policy?”
Sure enough… there is.
In our text above, the Lord lays out the requirements for entrance into heaven. It is quite simple: Heaven’s doors are open to those who had a living faith which showed itself in praise to the Lord and care for their neighbors. If you have such a faith you are “in”; without such a faith, the future is bleak.
You will note it is a policy which did not go uncontested by the unbelievers… just as it had not been accepted earlier in the chapter by the five foolish virgins whose lack of preparation for the wedding ended up with them on the outside looking in.
So, let me ask, “Do you, not your ashes, but do you want to spend eternity in the Happiest Place Anywhere?” If so, then hear this prayer and blessing by the Apostle Paul, who in Romans 15:13 said, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus has offered Himself as the sacrifice which forgives and saves. May we cling to Him in faith and encourage others to do the same. In His Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Arden Dier for Newser on October 25, 2018 . Those who wish to reference those articles may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.newser.com/story/266338/store-owner-tells-robbers-to-come-back-later-they-did.html