By David Guion
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”2 Corinthians 5:1 (KJV)
Paul uses “house” as a metaphor for our mortal bodies. It can be destroyed, but we have a permanent home waiting for us. Christians know that.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have forced many Americans out of their homes. They have had to flee to some kind of refugee camp. They know where their homes are, and that it’s not where they’re staying temporarily. But in many war-torn part of the Earth, some people have been living in refugee camps for generations. By this time, it seems like home.
Eden, humanity’s original home, was flooded out by sin. Earth became a refugee camp. It seems like home, and fallen humanity wants to dominate it. Some want to build world-wide empires. Others content themselves with dominating their families or workplace. But the accepted style in the refugee camp is for us to try to impose our will on others without regard for God.
Those of us who recognize that Earth is not our home realize that our bodies clothe a spirit destined for home. Paul seems to mix metaphors of a tent and clothing. But either way, going home means leaving the body behind and receiving a new one. Home is out of this world. Home is where God is. God has given the Holy Spirit to those who long for home as a promise that we’re not stuck forever in the refugee camp.
But we’re still tainted with the refugee camp lifestyle. We can’t take that attitude home.
We will have to stand before Jesus at his judgment seat and learn the consequences of all the good and bad we do in this life.
Meanwhile, we persuade people. By word and deed, we proclaim that the refugee camp isn’t home. Proclaiming home is not just another means of exerting control or trying to dominate anyone. That’s the same message God himself has communicated through his prophets and the incarnation.
Now, we are his ambassadors. He has given his church the ministry of reconciliation so that we can participate in the work of Christ. Let’s live as if we were already home.
David Guion writes Grace and Judgment
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