In central Liverpool, I saw growing a rather fine hebe, which, unusually, had decided to flower in January. Unlike the gospel, this flower is welcome in season and out of season. Its name comes from Zeus’ daughter, the goddess of youth. One day soon, this flower shall fade, wither and fall, much like human youth and life itself. One blink and one finds oneself middle-aged; blink again and retirement beckons. Hebe herself was said to keep the gods youthful. I am looking to heaven in which the Christian shall forever grow in knowledge and spiritual stature, but without the attendant aches and wrinkles. In heaven we shall be as wise and knowledgeable as the aged, but as youthful and vigorous as the giddiest child.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53