Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dreaming of...?

We had lunch with some long-time friends today, a couple who have served with the church or a campus Christian organization for decades. They described their typical week and commented that among the various challenges ministering to students is that, as Jesus said two millennia ago, "the laborers are few" (Matthew 9.38). In connection with that, the comment came up that "Kingdom dreams have been displaced by other dreams," about which more later.

They asked about my blog, and I told them what I've been trying to do here (when I'm not writing for Linux Journal) - writing a short essay about something from the One Year Bible - and I mentioned that most days there is something pretty exciting in the reading.

Well, that is especially true today. In the 11th chapter of Hebrews, we read about quite a few people who...
... admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
from Hebrews 11.13-16
Let me take that last sentence and state it positively:

God is proud to be called their God.

I find that absolutely astonishing. And look at the reason! Is it because they are great people? Because they had great courage, great virtue, sacrificial love? Well, they probably did, but that's not the reason.

The reason is, they believed in the heavenly country. More than that, they longed for it.

Do I want God to be proud to be called my God? How much do I believe in the heavenly country? My dreams... are they dreams about the heavenly kingdom, about how that heavenly kingdom can come to earth? Or are there dreams about financial security and worldly success?

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And in my life too.

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