Reflecting on Luke 20: 27-38
There is something in us that remembers eternity. My favorite Old Testament passage captures it beautifully: God has made everything appropriate for its time, and yet has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We long for those glimpses of heaven that come to us―a tender wink from a beloved who has gone to God, or maybe a near-death story that has the ring of truth to it. But whether we experience those particular graces or not, the nearness of the eternal is right there, in our memory and our soul. We are made for heaven.
But we are also made for the earth, because that is where we forge the materials we will take into eternity. In C.S. Lewis’s beautiful parable, The Great Divorce, we see the excruciating conundrum. Heaven is right there, just steps away from the bus that carries those caught in the limbo of indecision. All one has to do is get off the bus. The problem is, heaven is so solid, so real. The grass is like knives for those who try to take selfishness and grubbiness and gossip and meanness into heaven. They’ll need to lay those wimpy things down if they want to walk in the strength of the Divine Presence.
That’s another piece of eternity that we already experience in this life: the “muscle memory” that comes when we grow into who we are meant to be. When we knock temptation to the ground, when we stand up for justice, when we grow the muscles of compassion and honesty, we can feel ourselves getting fit for the sturdiness of heaven. The saints all got to the gym and got buff enough for eternity. Just do it.
Kathy McGovern ©2016