Friday, December 30, 2011

Heavenly Citizenship

Our commonwealth has its existence in heaven, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to his body of glory, according to the working of [the] power which he has even to subdue all things to himself.  --Philippians 3:20-21 (Darby)

Glory is that amazing word of blazing light and transforming power through which God's unmistakable presence is shown.  The angels on the first Christmas appeared in glory to sing: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace..."  Christ came down, dwelling in a common human body, but showed himself to be much more glorious than any imagined.  Not his mother, or his father, or the shepherds or the Three Kings could even begin to imagine the changes this little baby Jesus would bring.  Consciously or unconsciously, all humanity had awaited this affirmation of God's eternal covenant, and here he was: Jesus Christ our Savior.

Jesus Christ made real the distinctions between this life (bound in our "bodies of humiliation") and where our truer lives were gathered: in heaven.  Paul says when Jesus comes we become, in essence, citizens of two realms.  The one foot is firmly planted in heaven; the other in this mortal earthly life.  Christ is the turning crux of life between these two places.  Belief in Him will transform our mortality into the full glory of God's own presence.  Being fully aware of this transforms our definitions of how to be and live while in this earthly existence; it brings the heavenly commonwealth closer to all we meet.

Holy God, transform our shallow grounding in the things of this life into the magnificence of your heavenly realm, and let it be shown to all those around us.  Amen.

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