Hello church family! For the next week we're going to be studying the theme "Heaven and Earth." You can view this week as an expansion of All Saints Sunday as we take time to think deeper on sainthood, heaven, what the kingdom of God looks like, and God's divine plan for all of that. It's such a large topic that we will barely scratch the surface of it all but I hope that it at least makes you think about the topic in a new light. However, for some this topic might still be too fresh to consider if you have recently lost a loved one and wish to not think of heaven and those that have gone to the sainthood. I understand if you need time to process that before studying. If so, please join us again on Sunday as we'll be starting a new topic.
Most of us have trouble thinking about the concept of heaven the way the Bible actually describes it. We tend to imagine it as a beautiful place where we go after we die, but it’s so much more than that. Heaven and earth—God’s space and humans’ space—were originally united as one. When humanity chose to go their own way, those two spaces were driven apart.
But Jesus made a way for the two spaces to be one again. Right now we can experience the overlap between heaven and earth, but one day soon we will see the two spaces fully reunited again. As we wait, we are invited by Jesus to live out this prayer, “Father let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Let's begin by reading some scripture that establishes what heaven is and what heaven on earth will be like. And then we'll take some time to consider some questions.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
The new heavens and earth is not some strange world we can’t begin to understand. When Jesus talks about the new creation, he mentions things we are familiar with like family, homes, and places of work (fields). But things will also be different than the world we know now. The future earth will be so permeated with God’s own life and love that death will be no more and power structures will be turned upside-down. What happened to Jesus on Easter morning is what God has in store for the whole universe. Everything will be renewed.
Consider one scenario in your life that is hurting and broken. What do you think that situation will look like when it is fully renewed?
Who usually gets to enjoy the first, best, and most powerful scenarios on earth? Who usually has to endure the last, worst, and most vulnerable situations on earth? Read Matthew 19:30 again. What will it be like when Jesus renews all things?
Praying with Praise
Our hymn for today is For All the Saints. I know we just sang this in church on Sunday but come on...its just so good. :)