Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2 Corinthians 5: Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

I don't know who wrote this song, but it's on one of David Crowder's CDs. It's short. I think less than a minute, and I think that's all there is to it. Sometimes lyrics don't need to be long or complicated to be profound.

We all want perfect lives. No pain. No disappointment. No struggle.

Anything less, and we end up frustrated.
Basically, we want heavenly lives here on earth.
And that's just not possible.

Once we come to terms with that, once we choose to make Jesus the centerpiece of our lives, we experience a new frustration.

We realize that no matter how hard we try, we always come up short.

Paul explains this in Romans 7:14-25.
He writes, ". . . I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carr it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do . . . For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in . . . my body, waging war against the law of my mind . . . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

We worship, and then we get distracted.
We set out to serve, and our motives get all mixed up.
We develop spiritual community, but then someone hurts us and we get mad. Or we hurt someone else, and they get mad.

But there is hope.

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul compares our earthly bodies to a tent and says that tent is destroyed, when we die, we will receive a new building from God. In other words, a new body.

But "meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked."

Okay, I'm going to try and get around all these metaphors. No matter how hard we try, our earthly dwelling, the tent, just isn't that great. It's a tent.

Did you ever have that dream, the one where you were in front of class doing a presentation, or sitting in a pew at church, and then you realized you were naked and then you panicked because people could see you? You're trying to figure out how to cover up or get out of the building without anyone noticing?

Okay, I know I'm not the only one who has had this dream.
I used to have this fear that if people could really see me, all my weaknesses, all my faults, all my sin, then they would be horrified.

I didn't realize. We're all messed up. We're all wearing tents when we wish we were wearing our heavenly garments.

We think we want heavenly lives on earth.
What we really want, when we focus on Jesus, is to be with him.

So we "make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it."

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