Journey: Great Expectations

Read:  Spirit of Life

Someone has said that we are not ready to live until we are prepared to die.  McLaren agrees, and he writes a powerful chapter about what happens to life when it is viewed in relation to death–what happens to time when viewed in relation to eternity.

While recognizing that it is possible to be so heavenly-minded that we are no earthly good, McLaren also notes that there is a good way to be heavenly-minded so that we can, indeed, be of earthly good.  And one way it happens is as we invite eternity to break into time to give our present lives value, vision, and vitality.  Because we are people who will live forever, we should manifest and advance principles that will not pass away.

A godly life shortens the distance between what we traditionally call earth and heaven, so that when our time to die comes, it is a small step (not a huge leap) from one dimension of living to another.  And between now and then,  it is not wrong to speak about “heaven on earth” as the days of our lives reflect and promote life everlasting. 

As we do this, McLaren rightly shows that we can embrace great expectations for what our lives will be like when we go to heaven.  When this is so, we can say along with Paul and the saints of the ages, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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