OK. Turn on your imaginations for a moment. Imagine, that in August of this year, a Category 5 hurricane blasts the Gulf Coast once again . . . taking dead aim on the city of New Orleans. As the wind and waves batter the shore line, the levees once again break way and the Parrishes are once again under water. Since the devastating images of Hurricane Katrina are still fairly fresh in our minds, it is not hard to imagine this scene.
Now, I want you to zoom in a bit and make this image a bit more graphic. I want you to imagine that your house is one of the homes in Jefferson Parrish that is under water. You are standing on what used to be your driveway watching your photo albums and furniture float by in a surreal parade of despair.
As you stand there, totally overwhelmed by your predicament, you feel a tap on your shoulder. You turn around to see the President of the United States. (NOTE: This is your fantasy, so pick your favorite President standing there. Who am I to say that you can’t turn around to see the top hat and pencil thin beard of Honest Abe!) While you are honored to see the leader of the free world standing before you, you are totally unprepared for the offer he is about to give you.
“Is this your home,” the President asks.
“It was,” you groan back. “It is mostly destroyed now, and what remains will eventually rot under the weight of mold and decay.”
“Tell you what,” the President says patting you on the shoulder. “Why don’t you come home and move in with me. I have a little place on Pennsylvania Avenue that has plenty of room for both our families.”
Your heart is both bewildered and jubilant as you thank the President for his gracious offer, and run off to tell your friends and family about your sudden turn of good fortune. As you imagine your future home, you talk about the marble flooring, the artwork on the walls, the professional chef who will cook your meals, the rose garden out back, etc, etc. The White House is a very impressive place and you are looking forward to the upgrade from your condemned and flooded home to this new palatial estate.
When you actually arrive and move into your new home one week later, however, you find that in all of you dreaming of what your new home would be like, you forgot one essential and important bonus. Yes you will be in a new and upgraded home . . . but you also get to be in this new and upgraded home with HIM, the President! You get the rose garden AND the man who gives press conferences in it. You get the personal chef, and the man for whom that chef works. In all your excitement for the move, you forgot that very important blessing!
This Sunday, at Wildwood we will be continuing our series out of 2 Corinthians 2-5 entitled “Don’t Forget to Fish.” This week we will be in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. These verses describe a situation not too different from our fictional example I laid out above. Currently we live our lives in flooded and decaying “tents” that will eventually be destroyed. One day, we will get the tap on the shoulder from Jesus Christ, and with that tap He will usher us into eternity and give us a new and upgraded “home” . . . equipped with a body that will no longer experience struggle or decay. This is a great blessing, and many times when we talk about heaven, we talk about the many blessings we will experience there: no more crying, no more pain, the streets of gold, the reunion of the saints, lions and lambs laying down together, etc. We often look to our future and talk about it in light of the things that are in our new eternal home . . . however, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 reminds us that our eternity is spent in HIS home! Not only do we get the blessing of an eternal body, but we get to spend that eternity with Him.
What are the implications of this truth for us as we invest our lives in service to others? Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 yourself before Sunday to see what you think . . . and then we’ll be looking at this passage together to make some observations and conclusions on Sunday at 10:40. See you there!