Perhaps one of the greatest challenges that contemporary Christianity must overcome is the popular perception that, to be Christian, is to be divorced from the happenings of the world. When the Christian life becomes reduced to merely evading hell and stumbling into heaven, it becomes a faith that loses its ability to speak into “the now”. When our focus becomes about the world to come, we forget about this one. When our eyes only glimpse the next life, we lose sight of living now. Does Christianity really have so little to offer our present existence? I love what Dallas Willard had to say in his book, The Divine Conspiracy.
The really good news for humanity is that Jesus is now taking students in the master class of life. The eternal life that begins with confidence in Jesus is a life in his present kingdom, now on earth and available to all. So the message of and about him is specifically a gospel for our life now, not just for dying. It is about living now as his apprentice in kingdom living, not just as a consumer of his merits. Our future, however far we look, is a natural extension of the faith by which we live now and the life in which we now participate. Eternity is now in flight and we with it, like it or not.
What a beautiful image! Eternity begins now, carrying us on its wings. The Spirit of God, wind and flame, blows through our hair and kindles our hearts. We become a community touched by His grace, both recipients and heralds of His kingdom, as the “graced ones” become extensions of grace into the world. God is not waiting for us at the pearly gates. He is looking for opportunities to encounter us now, in this world, in this moment.
As we continue together in this journey through Lent, I encourage you to be watchful. Pursue these God moments. Ask God to meet you in a new way, to encounter you in a manner that leaves you changed. Then… watch for Him. Seek Him. Dig into Scripture, linger in prayer, exalt in worship, find that quiet place to listen, and look for where He is at work and inviting you to join in. Let this season be a period that moves you to higher heights and deeper depths than you thought possible.
Because eternity begins now.