Friday, April 11, 2014

All Things New

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:5

For now we see through a glass, dimly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  1 Corinthians 13:2

In the final book of the Narnia series, The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis reframes our perspective of life, painting a beautiful picture of Heaven. Early in the book, Jill and Eustice are travelling on a train, when suddenly they are thrusted into Narnia. When their adventure is over, the children – having experienced the joys and wonders of Narnia and the presence of Aslan, the great lion and Christ Figure throughout the Narnia series – are afraid they will be sent back to earth again.

Then, in a section called “Farewell to Shadowlands,” Aslan gives the children some good news: “’There was a real railway accident,’ said Aslan softly. ‘Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in the Shadowlands – dead. The term is over; the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.’”

Then Lewis concludes the story with some of my favorite lines in all of literature:

“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” 

Beginning Sunday, we will begin a series that has been 10 years in the making, a reframing of all our perspectives in this life, encouraging us all to have much more of an eternal orientation.  Have you ever heard the saying that you can be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good? That is not in the Bible, and as a matter of fact, you will discover just the opposite – clear imperatives to fix our intellects, imaginations and affections on eternity.

It took a tragic death of my brother to reframe my perspective towards eternity and awaken me to the benefit, encouragement and lasting value of setting my hopes on Heaven. Jesus had much to say regarding Heaven and I have learned that many of my values and views weren’t based on the Bible, but on cultural axioms.

Oh, the hope that will arise in us all is the hope in the prospect that our end of life can really be just the beginning and that somehow our lives here impact and have continuity with our lives in eternity!  Oh, the joy of seeing Jesus face-to-face and co-laboring with Him on a new redeemed earth!  Oh, the rush of anticipation of seeing loved ones who have died in Christ before me and never having to say goodbye to them ever again!  I look forward to walking together; starting this Sunday in a series we have entitled All Things New.

I love being your pastor!