vv 1-3 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,…. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people!
Writing this has been challenging, not least because in attempting to verbalise my thoughts about heaven, I find that those thoughts have changed! I have moved from viewing heaven as a future (rather remote) destination, albeit one in which my place as a Christian is guaranteed, to understanding that God is even now in the process of renewing His creation until one day His place (heaven) and ours (earth) will coincide and be perfect.
Our view of heaven needs to inform the way we live NOW. My task as a Christian is to contribute towards restoring creation to what it was meant to be and will become, by living the way God wants me to, not simply by dutifully obeying but by allowing Him to change my inner self so that I become a person “fit for heaven to dwell with Him there” (to slightly misquote the Christmas carol). I long to live now in a way which anticipates the life I shall live then, demonstrating that new creation in a way that is contrary to today’s “norm”, serving others with humility, love, forgiveness, justice, and generosity. I heard recently about a plumber who did some work for an elderly lady and charged her £0 – his action went viral on social media! His counter-cultural gesture spoke to thousands. Could my lifestyle have a similar impact – and will I then be ready to explain my motivation?
Recommended (but not easy!) reading: the final chapter of Tom Wright’s book “Simply Christian”
(Contributed by Ro Porter)