“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness : I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. ” Psa. xvii, 15.
We shall be satisfied, because our souls and bodies, which were separated at death, will be united again.
It is written, ” All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth ;” ” the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,” ” and we (who are on the earth) shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye” — ” mortal shall put on immortality” The glorified body, with which we shall be clothed, will be a source of great and endless satisfaction. The old body was a burden — a body of death. It was afflicted With disease, sickness, infirmity, pain, age, decrepitude, death and decay- But when we awake with our glorified body, these will all have passed away. Not an ache, nor pain; no infirmity, deformity, nor age: these terms are not found in heaven’s vocabulary. Youth, health, vigor, and beauty, will be among the characteristics of our glorified body.
J. W. HOOD, Bishop of the A.M.E. Zion Church, “SERMON XIV. THE PERFECT FELICITY OF THE RESURRECTED SAINTS, A RESULT OF CONFORMITY TO THE DIVINE LIKENESS”
THE Negro in the Christian Pulpit OR, THE TWO CHARACTERS AND TWO DESTINIES, AS DELINEATED IN TWENTY-ONE PRACTICAL SERMONS. WITH AN APPENDIX, CONTAINING SPECIMEN SERMONS BY OTHER BISHOPS OF THE SAME CHURCH.
James Walker Hood wrote this in 1884, and was born in Pennsylvania in 1831. More of his life story can be found here. In this excerpt of a sermon on heaven, he sums up all of our longings and woes. We need a break. Heaven is the hope. There will be no aches or deformities in heaven.
I once read the biography of a man I admired for his creative work. He had a genetic disease which greatly limited his mobility; it even affected his body shape. I don’t think he would deny his condition was a burden: Surely this would meet the definition of “deformity”. He wrote a FAQ on his web page where he said his disease was basically incurable. That to “cure” him of this condition would erase who he was, because it was coded in his DNA. I am thinking about his testimony in light of this passage. What would a glorified body look like for him?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, we long for a day when there is no aches, infirmity, or disease. Bring it on. Renew our hope in this heaven, and let its promise lighten the hearts of those who are suffering now. Knowing that this is your ultimate will, let us pray for, sympathize with, and help those who may suffer from any sort of infirmity or even deformity. Let us be “little Christs” and let the world see our actions here in light of physical suffering as a little reminder of what your work here and now are about. AMEN.