Heaven Inside Of You
One of the actionable items in my sermon this past week got me thinking about one of Jesus' sayings that I think about from time to time.
Jesus responded to a bunch of religious people who were asking him for a sign that the kingdom of God was actually breaking through into our reality. He told them this:
Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.” Luke 17:20-21 (MSG)I kind of identify with those Pharisees. A sign would be good. It would be great to have a timeline. I wish that the world was better. I wish God would show up and make everything right.
I wish that there was something tangible that I could hold on to when it feels like all of my spiritual words and grand theological ideas aren't cutting it.
And then Jesus responds by saying:
"Listen, you are wasting your time with all of that... Seriously, all of your searching and longing for a sign won't yield the answers you seek---because the answers are already in you."I was reading a bit of C.S. Lewis this morning and something that he wrote in Mere Christianity brought this home even more succinctly.
He wrote that worrying and fretting about heavenly timelines was futile. Instead, Lewis asserted that we should spend our time and energy:
...inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.The change that we seek... the transformation we long for... the sacred... the holy... the beautiful and true... all of it is within us. When we begin to wake up to this reality, it feels so obvious.
But waking up is hard. It's easier to live with our eyes shut tight. Because when we wake up and begin to see the reality of God's kingdom, we can't unsee it. We can't stay the same, either.
May you have the strength today and every day to open your eyes and see Heaven inside of you. May you hear and believe Jesus words, and let them change you forever.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.