It is a Dark Friday…but it is a Good Friday.
He was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
– Isaiah 53:5-6
Growing up, I heard of the importance of not being “so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.” C.S. Lewis seems to take a different stance. He states:
If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
– Mere Christianity, p. 134
Heaven is not simply about eternal destination. It is about citizenship. The teachings of the New Testament, particularly from the mouths of Jesus and Paul, make clear that citizenship in heaven is not reserved as a reward for Christ-followers once they die. Rather, for the Christian believer heavenly citizenship is a present reality. And that citizenship in the age to come while living in the present age is precisely what witnesses an alternative of abundant life in an otherwise decaying world.
So, without fear of being “so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good”…
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:2-3)
As I was perusing Dollar General for a certain kind of pen I heard John Tesh’s undeniable voice on the overhead. He had found research showing that with touchscreen technology, smaller devices, and apps at fingertips our productivity and level of meaningful contribution has actually declined. What has increased is the amount we consume. Reading is now supposedly easier (in electronic form), more accessible. So what do we do? We watch more entertainment. We update Facebook with tidbits of how our life is going with much less thought and fewer characters than even sending an email to friend or family, much less writing a letter.
The bottom line is: we are, by nature, consumers. We deceive ourselves in thinking that technological advances will change our character or nature. Perhaps with more means and more resources, there’s a better chance we’ll do more good. Consume less, be satisfied, give more, do more. But the result of our nature is the same. The quantity of result is proportionate to means and resources. More technology, more of what we already do, whether for greater love and service or selfishness, consumption, and insatiable hunger to fill voids.
P.S. I had to get the pens somewhere else.
A post worth sharing. And if you are part of a Wesleyan tradition and haven’t checked out Seedbed yet, here’s your chance! It is becoming a wonderful resource hub for Wesleyan theology.
Tell Him Your Story: Writing as a Spiritual Discipline.