July 29, 2015
The good news for today
Jesus told his disciples: “The realm of heaven is like a treasure chest buried in a field, which somebody finds and hides again, and happily goes and sells everything he owns and buys that field.” (Matthew 13, 44)
Finding what “heaven” is about is exciting! Our childish view of heaven yields to a grown-up insight. Heaven, we come to realize, does not mean an after-life, not the payment your life has earned like Social Security. Nor is heaven an imaginary kingly court in the sky.
When Jesus talks about heaven, He uses poetry all the time. He imagines it as a hidden treasure, a valuable pearl, a sower sowing, a wedding reception, and on and on. It is within, He says. It is coming, He says. It is not of this world. It is hard to get into.
Why? Why does Jesus not just come out and tell you—THIS is heaven? Because….
Heaven is a realm beyond ANY words. Like love, justice, peace and joy—heaven reveals itself to a heart open to faith and unimaginable truth. You don’t get to heaven—you find out—by trying to get to heaven. No obedience to a law earns heaven. Only poetry describes it. Like a fog, it is everywhere and nowhere.
Heaven comes to you as a gift when you look around at your now-world, at people like yourself, at persons in need, at beauty and, yes, at—uncomfortable—truth. Heaven chooses you to be a citizen there, a member, when you discover true humility, genuine forgiveness and your own self-centeredness. Heaven comes to you as a bride veiled—but you look under the veil and uncover (in yourself) a real hunger for justice, a craving for a New Life, and a deeply-rooted need for you to buy into faith. It dawns on you—the Immense Love a Father has for you in a huge universe. Such Good News reveals what the true nature of heaven is—it gets you, and not the other way around. All we can do is prepare the way for it by seeing others caringly, listening well, and having faith in the unseen.