The Opportunity for Life: Nine Days or Ninety Years, Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post, "The Opportunity for Life: Nine Days or Ninety Years, Part 1." 

This present age is not just merely an audition or interview, though - it really does matter. 

But, if we are entirely earthly minded, entirely temporally focused, and dismissive of the ephemerality of things, we will end up failing to to see the true telos of our brief life - be it nine days or ninety years. 

Consider C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.

It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is.

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.

The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.

It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.

Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

We are invited to join God in the renewal of all things in Christ - on this earth, in this age. We pray "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." We "seek first the kingdom." We follow a Messiah who says "kingdom is at hand." 

As his apprentices, we inhabit his words: "You are the light of the are the salt of the earth." We illumine the dark and salt the earth with good works that provide the world with a sign, a foretaste, of the heaven here on earth. We are indeed a people who have been "surprised by hope," to borrow a phrase from Wright. 

Yes, this brief sojourn is a prelude to a more permanent, enduring, and solid existence in the new creation - an audition, if you will - but the "hope we have stored up in heaven" is not a retirement account that elicits leisure. No, we of all people, as ones allegiant to King Jesus, are to pray and labor for justice and righteousness here and now. We are to live as if the kingdom really is at hand. We are to "practice resurrection," to echo Peterson. 

In closing, the writer of the sermon to the Hebrews says this: 

Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.


Popular Posts