A church sign read: "Where the earth is...we are!"
At first I laughed at the udder foolishness of the statement. Would we be anywhere else except for that handful of space cowboys riding the near ranges of the heavenlys?
Then I began to recall that this is not a Biblical perspective at all. But then neither was this a Biblical church making the proclamation. While our bodies are certainly bound to this world for the time being our spirits have crossed into the heavenly realm and made contact. We sojourn on this planet as visitors baring gifts and bringing news from distant lands. But if this earth were destroyed today - this instant - you would not find us among the debris. We would physically be where our hearts are, in the presence of the All Mighty.
I read something credited to theologian Walter Wink. It said "If Jesus had never lived we would not have been able to invent him." Ask anybody about Jesus - ask a hundred people about Jesus you will get as many varied answers. The simple Jesus exists only in the minds of those who never got past Sunday School. The simple Jesus was born to a poor mother and raised in a carpenters shop and has the singular dimension of tenderness, always holding little children or baby lambs. Add to this Jesus an enraged man whipping the money changers and shouting like a wild man and arguing with religious leaders. Add to those the image of Jesus walking on water and calming storms and turning water into wine. Add now a dimension of a Jesus going to His death without an argument; allowing Himself to be beaten and whipped; seemingly unable to help Himself but forgiving of His tormentors. Now bring in the healing Jesus who could mix spit and dirt and restore sight or simply be touched without His knowledge and heal a bleeding woman. Enough? Oh but there is more! The Jesus who rose from the dead and could walk through rocks and walls with a hole in His side and the Jesus who now sits at the right hand of God the Father preparing His return as still another image; the conquering Jesus who will put an end to evil once and for all.
As I write this the images of Jesus flooded my mind. Images of Him sweating blood in Gethsemane - looking at the people with disgust as they demanded one more miracle - teaching with authority in the Temple and looking sorrowful at the disciples as they decried their loyalty knowing they will run when things turn bad. The Jesus who rode the donkey into the midst of the jubilant crowd declaring Him King is the same Jesus who, days later, would have spit on His face and a crown of thorns on His head. The same Jesus who had dinner with tax collectors had a mountain top summit with Moses and Elijah and a desert meeting with the Devil.
Wow, what a busy guy. If I was going to make up a story about a Savior I would have made Him a little bit more believable.
"I've read through to the end... we win." People who've read and studied the last three chapters of the Bible in Revelation often say this to calm fears and make ourselves appear in control. I've done it myself a dozen times at least. It sometimes becomes an excuse for not dealing with today's issues. Great victories are often the result of smaller victories strung together.
Sometimes the decisive blow in battle is held off to minimize casualties and rescue civilians. We have a lot of lost people out there. Could it be that this final victory could come sooner if we get busy and save a few more who are trapped behind enemy lines?
Winning the war is the ultimate goal and the "more certain word of prophecy" is comforting but let's get today's battle won in such a convincing fashion as to weaken the enemy and speed up the coming of the final battle.