Heaven on Earth, But Not in Heaven Yet

Last evening, my family gathered to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. Saturday afternoon, I pulled out the little cookbook, the one nearly as old as she is with that pumpkin cupcake recipe that has come to mark her special day. The book fell open to that page. Stains from other years mark decades of use.
I thought of times I had made these cupcakes for school parties, church events, and these family gatherings. It’s a recipe with chocolate chips mixed in. When they’re done, I coat them in store-bought icing with added red and yellow food coloring to make orange. When they were small, the children were convinced that the color somehow added flavor. Perhaps it is the savor of tradition and memory. Continue reading “Heaven on Earth, But Not in Heaven Yet”

Walking the Dusty Path Together

Not all those who wonder are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither;
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken.
J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Christian writers through the ages have depicted the Christian life as a journey. From John Bunyan’s progressing pilgrim, to C.S. Lewis’s dimension jumping wardrobe travelers, to Tolkien’s Frodo Baggins and company, Christians are on the move. We are moving toward the Celestial City, Heaven. When we arrive, we are to be different from who we were when our journeys began.
Encountering Christ changes us. And this change is a process that lasts our whole lives through. One cannot follow Christ and stand still. To do so means we remain steeped in the mud of our sin. We are not committed to the journey.
To come out of the mud, we need the encouragement of other Christians. They need encouragement from us. We come from the mud to walk in the dust. Christ washes our feet. And along the way, we come to resemble Him.
This great adventure is Christianity.┬áIt isn’t always fun or exciting. Sometimes it’s tedious, even heart wrenching. That’s why we need each other. Continue reading “Walking the Dusty Path Together”