Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 14- "I'm in Heaven"

Picture: Calvin and his wife being jeered

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Calvin: “We ought then to imitate what people do who determine to migrate to another place, where they have chosen a lasting abode. They send before them all their resources and do not grieve ove lacking them for a time, for they deem themselves the happier the more goods they have where they will be for a long time. But if we believe heaven is our country, it is better to transmit our possessions there than to keep them here where our sudden migration would be lost to us.” (III.18.6)

Madonna sang, “Oh heaven is a place on earth” speaking about sexual love. On this President's Day weekend I'm reminded about what Lincoln said: "Marriage is neither heaven nor hell- it's purgatory." Many would have this "romantic" view of human relationships and sexuality that it will somehow save them and bring them al the things heaven promises- peace, hope, joy, blessedness. There are numerous songs that make a siren call for us to live for the now and not for heaven. Perhaps the greatest advertisement was the beer commercial of a few years ago: “You only go round once in life- go for all the gusto you can.”
Jesus said to not lay up treasures here on earth as if the things here would last forever. Rather, we should put our treasures In heaven. Calvin’s quote/illustration echoes this. In fact, one of the keys for Calvin to living a good life here is to meditate upon the future life. It is quite easy to be discouraged here- where expectations are crushed, others let us down, we let ourselves down, and fairness disappears. I like Calvin’s moving explanation. When you know you’re moving to another location, this location does not seem as important, and you are busy sending your things on ahead of you.
I am preaching this Sunday on patience (one of the fruits of the Spirit). I really think one of the motivations to patience is this whole hope of heaven idea. In this life we are called to endure, persevere, be patient. I hate preaching on patience, because I am so terrible at it. I am a “ready, fire, aim” guy. I like it when technology speeds up life and I don’t have to wait on a thing but am totally productive (I hate it when computers don’t work- which is a regular thing in my world). I hate preaching on patience because the rare times I have the week before has been a catastrophe! So this week started off by having to confront someone that I like for not doing what they were supposed to be doing. I hate that! Then Monday I had a wreck leaving the hospital- a guy t-boned me running a red light. That pretty much destroys a day- having to talk to police, insurance, rental car folk, body shop (though I love my body shop person who goes to our church). Then we had a little mini-financial setback. Then there is the waiting- we are waiting to see if my son gets into the school he wants to get into (Clemson). His friends have heard, but he hasn’t. Waiting on that is driving all of us bananas! Ah yes- patience! I hate it- but I know I need to get it. Lord can you teach me patience in an easy way? God thundered from heaven- “No!” The trials we face produce patience but also make us long for the day when ever tear is wiped away and the testing stops.
The final part of salvation is glorification. There is a sense in which we are “saved” only when we get to heaven. On this Valentine’s Day we remember Valentine who was martyred February 14 and went to heaven. Let us remember the best human love is a reflection of God’s love. Our love for God is fully realized in our glorification.

No comments:

Post a Comment