We Need Heaven and Earth People

Someday heaven and earth will be joined together as one.
The veil between will be torn away and there will be no more separation.
No more tears, no more pain, no more loneliness, no more separation.
God will fully dwell with us and we will fully be his people.
heaven and earth joined
We long for this day and yet God has given us a preview, a foretaste of this joining together of heaven and earth.
After the resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven in his newly resurrected body, his earthly body that was able to be at home in heaven just as it was on earth.
heaven and earth people
At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit entered into the disciples, they were transformed into earthly people who contained a heavenly person within them. They were transformed into people who stood in both heaven and earth at the same time.
We are people who stand in both heaven and earth at the same time.
standing in heaven and earth
We who are Jesus-followers, we who have the heavenly Spirit of God inside of us, are people who stand at the intersection of heaven and earth and work for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
This is never more true than when we pray.
When we are solidly on earth and speaking to or listening to God in heaven, we are joining God’s kingdom to earth in a way that gives us a slight taste of what it will be like when heaven and earth are wholly one.
It whets our appetite and stirs us up to work all the harder to bring God’s kingdom to earth.
We desperately need heaven and earth people right now.
we must be heaven and earth people
Our world needs people who will stand at the intersection between heaven and earth and pray for that joining to be complete.
Our world needs people who are at home in both realities.
Our world needs people who will bring earthly concerns into heaven through prayer and who will bring heaven’s rule to earth through their work.
We are heaven and earth people, and we must not become so troubled by these earthly concerns that we forget who is really going to restore our world, yet we must not become so enamored with the heavenly reality that we forget the work that is ours to do to bring God’s kingdom rule to earth.
We are given the gift, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, of being the ones to stand at the overlap of heaven and earth and work to make them fully one as they once were. It is an astonishing gift.
So let us be heaven and earth people who are working for the restoration of earth toward its rightful end of becoming one again with heaven.
Do not miss this adventure!
To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.

Art credits: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Jan Vermeer; Pentecost stained glass in St. Andrew chapel of St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague; Children at Prayer by Antoine Édouard Joseph Moulinet; Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet by Francesco Vanni

Look Up and See the Wind

There is a lot of hard and ugly bearing down on us in these days.
The Wind of Love
It weighs on our hearts and our shoulders, pressing us down and down.
Our heads are bowed, hanging over our screens, and what comes out of our screens drags our hearts deeper into the mire.
Our news, our social media, even our friendships and families, so much feels like too much.
As though darkness is taking over the light.
As though grief is winning over joy.
As though the dark clouds are so thick and so encompassing we cannot see the next step to take.
All that we see and hear surrounds us and obscures a deeper and even more true reality.
The Wind of Love
With a bowed head, with eyes that are only looking to the dark cloud of words all around, it is easy to believe that the hard and ugly is all there is and all there ever will be.
We must look up, must pull our gaze away from all that we can see with our eyes and fix our eyes instead on that which is more true, that which is more real than the darkness that assails.
The Wind of Love
We must spend time away from all of the words the world slings at us, even the words hurled by those we love, and be, instead, in silence and stillness with the Word.
When we take time away, take time to lift up our heads and be still, we are more able to see what is true.
Love is still here.
The Wind of Love
Love is still flowing from the heart of God, is still rushing like a wind from the mouth of God, is still blowing away all the filth and ugly that veils our sight.
Love is the Word of God, breathed from the Father straight into the hearts of all who will lift up their heads and receive it.
Love is rushing and blowing all around us, and up from the sweep of Love’s tail feathers
rises hope.
The Wind of Love
To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.

Art credits: Shore Reed by Dominicus Johannes Bergsma; Swirling Colour by Adrian van Leen; Wind, Sand, and Stars by Alex Astro; Wind Mountain by James W. Alden; Little Aviator on the Wind by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski

Is Tolerance All That We Can Manage?


I hear many voices crying out for tolerance in these days.
busy street
We are exhorted by our leaders, our culture, to show tolerance to those around us.
Everywhere I turn, I am pleaded with to be tolerant, to show tolerance to anyone who is different, anyone who thinks or behaves differently than I.
Is this what we who are Christ followers are called to be? Tolerant?
Is this really all that we can manage, all that we can aspire to do?
Tolerance is easy. It costs me nothing.
Tolerance shrugs its shoulders and walks away, leaving you to your own devices. Tolerance doesn’t care.
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love is much harder.
Love affirms the reality of the other person, culture and way of life.
Love takes the trouble to get to know the other person and find out what makes them special.
Love wants what is best for that person or culture.
It was love that drove William Wilberforce to lead the British parliamentary campaign to abolish the slave trade, not tolerance.
It was love that brought the world to oppose an apartheid regime in South Africa, not tolerance.
It was love that led Martin Luther King to pursue civil rights, not tolerance.
It was love that sent Jesus to the cross on our behalf, not tolerance.
As I live in this world that is increasingly intolerant of anything that is other, as I live my life in contact with people who are different than me, I will pray for strength to choose the harder way.
If I am to be Jesus to those around me, if I am to make a difference for Him in this world, I must choose love, not tolerance.
Love must confront Tolerance and insist, as it has always done, on a better way. ~ Tim Keller in Generous Justice
To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.

art credits: Crowds by J. Solis; The Three Crosses etching by Rembrandt

edited from the archives