Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

04/25/2016 8:52 PM

The Other Way Around

04/25/2016 8:52 PM
04/25/2016 8:52 PM

You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. (2 Peter 3:11-12)

Every now and again one comes across a new possibility that completely tests an assumed way of thinking. Our history has been filled with such moments. We once thought the world was flat and that if you sailed a ship far enough, you would reach the end and simply fall off the side. We also once thought that the earth was the center of the solar system and that the sun circled around the earth, not the other way around. We are constantly learning new things that shatter the thinking we once had.

For a long time Christians have spoken of the idea of heaven as a utopian kind of place that we are destined to go to when we die. It brings to mind the image of a Star Trek movie where we are beamed up. This thought of heaven as a destination that we go to has long been shared among people of faith, and yet it might surprise you to discover that the Bible doesn’t speak of heaven in that way. We mentioned a few passages on Sunday, including Ephesians 1, Colossians 1, Romans 8, Act 3, and 2 Peter 3. The image we get is of a heaven that is being ushered in on earth, not the other way around. Just as Genesis puts it, “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth…” so Revelation completes it, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

The thought of a heaven coming down to earth should actually not surprise us. After all, the biblical story has always spoken of a God who seems bent on coming to us, relentlessly seeking us out, cleansing us, saving us, and restoring us. “I go to prepare a place for you,” Jesus said, “and I will come again and receive you to myself.” Rather than a place we go to, we are given the promise of a new creation in Jesus Christ. It’s the other way around.

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