It’s Not the Location; It’s the Landlord

By Notorious4life (talk).Notorious4life at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

By Notorious4life (talk).Notorious4life at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

I was taking my son to school this morning, and we were listening to folks on the radio talk about their faith and such. A woman came on, talking about how her favorite song reminded her that, “this world is not her home.” She went on to talk about how it was great to remember that we don’t belong here and this isn’t our true home.

I started to think about how many songs talk about that, and how it’s generally understood belief that this place—this earth and all that’s in it—isn’t our true “home”, and we’ll never be content here until we go to our “true home”.

Then I thought, “I wonder how God feels about this?

Does it bother Him that we so easily throw aside the world He created and declared “good” in Genesis 1 and 2? 

Even in light of the Fall, is God ready to scrap this place, declare it a mistake, and evacuate us all (along with everything else He spoke/sang into being) to somewhere else?

Do we really understand these phrases that roll of our tongue so easily?

A lot of the “not of this world” language comes John’s gospel, reflects the most “Greek-like” thinking of the four gospels, and with Greek thought comes Greek philosophy. To summarize (almost criminally), Greek thought was much more interested in different “planes of existence” than the Hebrew thinking that pervades the rest of the Bible. It’s natural to Greek thinking to think that something we are encountering now is merely a shadow of a more perfect type of that thing that exists in a different world. Greek philosophy would look at, say, a shot of espresso and go, “This represents a shot of espresso, but somewhere there is a true, perfect shot of espresso that exists.”

In contrast, Hebrew thinking says, “Drink the espresso already! Savor it! Enjoy it: God created it!”

Hebraic thought is more inclined to say, “Well actually, this world is our home! It’s messed up, but God will fix it, someday, and until He does we are going to work and be faithful.”

For a few legitimate reasons, it’s much easier for us to gravitate towards a Greek perspective on the world—it’s easy to see its flaws, for instance—but that doesn’t mean that we should do it to the neglect of the Hebrew perspective.

The truth is that God is neither Greek, nor Hebrew; both paradigms help us understand God’s reality more, but neither can tell us the whole truth.

To the thoughts that say, “This world is not our home,” first I’d say, “but what about Revelation?” If you read the end of The Story (Revelation 21-22), it’s pretty clear that, well, God actually remakes this place. It’s New Jerusalem. It’s No More Tears. It’s Twelve Gates. It’s No Temple.

And it all happens here.

On. This. Earth.

I don’t think God is interested in scrapping something He declared Good. I don’t think He’s into throwing less-than-perfect things onto the scrap heap just because they’re broken (I’m thankful for that). Actually, I think that’s what we would do: we’d take one look at this messed up, busted up planet with all its striving societies and dehumanizing and oppressive systems, and we would throw it right over the cliff and take everyone to a new home where we could start over.

But that’s us, not Him. 

I think God is a fixer. 

I think God is in it for the long haul.

In other words, we don’t need to sweat about our location, because even though it’s rough, we have an awesome Landlord.

What do you think? Is this place our home? What would it mean if God intends to heal this place rather than spirit us all away?

 

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One thought on “It’s Not the Location; It’s the Landlord

  1. God said in Psalm 2 that He would give the earth to Jesus as his possession, as his inheritance. Jesus said the meek would inherit it. In Psalm 37 it says half a dozen times that the wicked will be severed from the earth but the righteous will inherit it. It even says they will see the wicked destroyed. When Jesus refers to this very event in Mathew 24, though (the two-in-the-field-one-taken-one-left thing), many people think the righteous are taken and the wicked left. Go figure.

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