Christian writer, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, shares insight on God's kingdom.
Oct 5, 2012
May Your kingdom come, and what You want be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 (NCV)
What does heaven mean to you? The other day Adelaide asked me, “Mommy, is heaven really big? Because I’ve never been up in heaven.” And a few evenings later Harper wondered aloud, “Can we do anything we want in heaven? Like go fishing every day?” Those questions are cute, but trying to answer them honestly got me thinking.
What do I really know about heaven? I’ve listened to lots of sermons, studied what the Bible says, and read quite a few books on the subject. Still, I’ve never been there myself, and the truth is I don’t know much. I believe it’s a beautiful place where God resides with Jesus at His right hand. Where His will is done.
It occurs to me that most of the talk I’ve heard all of my life is about heaven as a place to go when you die. In my small southern town and small Southern Baptist church, old timers especially seem to cling to it as the reward at the end of a long, difficult journey. But as I study the teachings of Jesus, it seems to me that heaven is so much bigger than just that home beyond the blue. When we pray as He instructed us, we’re praying that the kingdom of God—heaven—will come to earth.
There’s an article in Time magazine of all places, in which Jon Meacham expresses what that might be like. He writes that such a view of heaven “should inspire [us] to open [our] arms more often than [we] point fingers...It is not paradise in the sky but acts of selflessness and love that bring God’s sacred space and grace to a broken world suffused with tragedy until...the unknown hour when the world we struggle to piece together is made whole again.” Meacham goes on to say of his fellow Christians, “We could do worse than think in such terms.”
Indeed we could. And perhaps if we did, more people would experience heaven—both now and forevermore.
Faith step: Ask Jesus to show you how you might bring a piece of heaven down to your little corner of the earth.