Heaven on Earth
It’s hot here. Everyone said it would be, so hot you stay inside which is something I never would have imagined coming from Seattle. But it being 103 degrees and me being 6 months pregnant equals, doors shut and AC (yay!) on. I was trying to make sure that all our plants were sufficiently growing through the cracked soil and was reminded of a sermon I heard once about God’s Kingdom breaking through like plants can break through concrete. That is what I used to think it took for God to bring heaven to earth, the power and ability to break through concrete and bring life out of stone. But I’ve been reading a book “Hosting the Presence” by Bill Johnson and wondering if my paradigms are off.
I’ve spent a life making “hell” the norm, or the standard. Hell being defined of a life absent of God. I’ve theologized, created belief systems out of the absence of God rather than the presence of God. Poverty, disease, death, pain are the norm. Anything else is a miracle and a short lived gift. Not to diminish the pain and the complete reality of all of “that”—it is normal life for so much of our planet. But this whole planet was created for something else. And if what Jesus says is true, than we as his friends and disciples are charged with bringing that something else back to the planet—permanently—not just for a retreat high, or for a split second of joy. Rereading the New Testament, or even the Psalms, or even in Deuteronomy (Deut 7) where God promises to Israel that if they are faithful to God, he will wipe away all disease and sickness, makes me think that God’s intent is for “fullness of joy”, and that “joy will be our strength” now, always, not just in moments of time.
For that to happen, I want God’s presence here on earth to become a daily reality to me and to people I encounter. A God of love, who is in a good mood, who because of what Jesus did on the cross says there is now no more punishment, or fear. Why then doesn’t every one get healed? Why is there is still pain? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that God says he wants heaven to come to earth and that there is no disease or sickness in heaven. I also know I don’t want to theologize out of the absence of God but out of God’s presence, what He does desire. He desires life. And I get to partner with God, empowered by Holy Spirit to bring life to dry places, so that rather than a small plant growing in the dessert we bring back the garden of Eden for all who desire to enter into intimacy and worship of the One Living God.
Posted by Alison