Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, August 10

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
—Revelation 21:1

I get rather tired of religion that speaks of heaven. Not because it’s a bad thing or because I don’t believe in it. I do. But I get frustrated when heaven is only something in the future, something that will come some day if we just wait for it.

The Good News I read tells me that heaven is now. The kingdom of God has come in Christ and our job as his disciples is to live in that kingdom even if it is not fully revealed. We’ve seen the empty tomb on Easter and we’ve experienced the resurrection. And while things might not be perfect, while we too get stuck back on Good Friday sometimes, we know that light and joy are real and that God has ushered in a new kingdom.

Knowing this good news, we recognize that we’re the ones charged to reveal the grace and mercy of God. We’re the ones called to proclaim loud and clear that God has accomplished all and made our lives complete in the redemption of the world. We spread Easter light to all people so that they too can leave Good Friday behind and enter the life of the empty tomb.

And that doesn’t mean telling them that heaven will free them some day. It means ushering heaven into their lives today, working to eradicate poverty, oppression and despair, striving for justice and peace among all people. It means doing the work of heaven on earth today, not in the dreamy future.

So get to work. Tell the world that heaven has come. And begin living in it yourself. Let justice flow down like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

You have given us heaven on earth through the gift of your son; help us to live it now. Amen.

The Signposts for August are written by Michael Sullivan and originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.