Heaven is now
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 1:54 PM [+]
At one point during the Diaconal Liturgical Practicum, Fr. Sergius Halvorsen said something that particularly stuck with me. He was lecturing about homiletics and reached a point in which he noted that as we progress in presenting the Gospel, part of that message should include the truth that Christianity is NOT simply preparing for Heaven as a destination we yearn for in the so called "after-life." But on the contrary, Heaven is now (my paraphrase). Yes, of course, there is a future Kingdom...but we also know that the "Kingdom is within you" (Luke 17:21). If we dare to call it a "reward", then we must let it be known that the Kingdom (the reward) is here and now. It is most fully actualized in the Liturgy, but we also take that with us out into our everyday lives, hopefully manifesting the beatitudes in everything we do. We nourish a deep and profound relationship with our Savior, NOW...not just later. We commune NOW, not just later. Though we see with blurred vision, we will be and are ever seeing more and more clearly as throughout eternity we process from "glory to glory." (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) But make no mistake, this procession is available to us NOW. It's glories are ours to explore NOW.
We are not simply intended to be in a perpetual state of looking toward the future and hoping. We are to TASTE the cup of salvation even now. We are to have that relationship with God now and forever. We ought to have an innate sense of timelessness and a perception of the reality of the Kingdom, even if hard to see in everyday life. It's there...we know it's there...and were we to live in the context of this reality I believe it would change so much for us...here and now.
Our transformation is ongoing...but it is not only a future event. He is the vine and we are the branches...He abides in us and we in Him. Now. *I* need to wake up to this reality and start living more in accordance with it. TODAY is the day of salvation.