I just finished reading a recent book by one of my favorite authors, “Simply Jesus” by NT Wright. In this book, Wright takes a look at who Jesus was, what Jesus was saying, and why it matters – in a way that smashes right into our homes and local churches. With incredible insight into what the theological and political climates were in those days, Write reveals Jesus to have arrived not at just a random spot in human history – but the amazingly appropriate place in time and space to launch a brand new Kingdom of God!
This book would make a great read during your 40 days of Lent (preparing to celebrate Easter) if you haven’t already selected one. The book leads to the final chapters of what Easter means for God’s people, and what it looks like when we speak and live as if Jesus truly is ruling even now.
I underlined so many bits of his book, I couldn’t begin to share them here. But because this is a largely “parenting” blog, I will talk about one section I enjoyed quite a bit.
In Chapter 11, Wright explores how Jesus impacted the three elements of “Space, Time, & Matter”. As we’re talking to our children about God, one of the things I naturally fall into without even thinking is this mentality of “heaven” being somewhere “out there”. Historically, “neither ancient Jews nor early Christians believed that “heaven” was a location within our present continuum of time and matter.” – Wright
In the Old Testament, God promised to dwell with them in the Tabernacle (portable temple), and later set up his residence in the Temple itself when they settled in the promised land. This was the physical space where they believed God lived (not simply visited) – the place where heaven and earth came together. God’s space and our space, joined.
When Jesus came as God’s embodied presence, all of a sudden this “place where heaven and earth come together” was walking around, and the overlap continued to grow and move as his disciples went out accomplishing His work in His name. Finally, to the glory of God, Jesus gives us his Spirit so that the activity of Jesus can continue even today! Lives are transformed, sins are forgiven, and the Kingdom work is being accomplished!
Here’s the cool thing: Believing these above statements leads to the conclusion that when the work of Jesus is being done, empowered by the Holy Spirit – THERE is where heaven and earth are becoming joined together! The fact that as our homes become places where the activity of Jesus becomes a regular occurrence, they also become places similar to the Holy of Holies in the Temple…..whew. 🙂 Kinda makes you want to look for more opportunities for our families to get involved in Kingdom activity and living out His Lordship in our daily walk, eh??? 🙂