This Christmas I find myself searching. Searching for a bit of Heaven here on Earth. Searching for a long gone scent of love in clothes left in the closet, a favorite blanket kept on a bed as a reminder he is still here, close. I’m searching for a bit of Heaven here within things. Could it be I’m searching for Heaven in all the wrong places?
I’ve started reading a chapter of Luke a day during December. Luke gives the account of the life of Jesus. The 24 chapters have the perfect leading up to Christmas Day. As usual, I’m late to the party. These first days I’m going to have to cram for the test, so to speak. But this reading reminded me of the Heaven I should be seeking.
I keep no secrets about the things of Earth satisfying me more than the things of Heaven at times. And then I read Luke 16:19-31. These verses have always held my heart for some reason. But knowing, loving so dearly, someone in Heaven now makes me read it so differently.
This is the story of a rich man and a beggar both dying at the same time. A contradiction in life, their story in death is also one of opposites. But God has always done things things differently, hasn’t he? In death it is the beggar who is living a life of comfort. The rich, or now seen as wicked, man is so moved, in so much agony, so tormented by his place in Hell he must find a way to tell his brothers about this place of anguish. And how they can receive the blessing. There is ‘bliss’ as my concordance describes, that the poor man has received by Abraham’s side in Heaven. Bliss. Not many things of Earth or Amazon.com give me that feeling. At least for very long.
I quickly start searching for a bit Heaven in things, gifts, wants … people. Luke 16 tells me Heaven isn’t here. It cannot cross the chasm. The bliss that I search for is not here.
This Christmas we, I, will search for bliss in things, in the passing wisp of joy. When so much more awaits us in a paradise we cannot comprehend. The rich man had to visit a Hell before he could understand the depths of joy awaiting in Heaven. Luke tells us of this so we don’t have to experience one to miss out on the other.
Luke 16:31 tells us “…even if someone rises from the dead” some will not pay attention to this coming glory. A great joy for all the people (Luke 2:10) who came to win our hearts, our attention from the things of this place.
Wait a minute, you say. Didn’t I just write a blog about all the great things to buy for Christmas gifts? Honesty is the best policy, I have Amazon open on the other tab right now. There are things in my cart. Sure, some are gifts. Remember, I’m still working on that ‘one gift for you, one for me’ policy I have. And I can’t seem to break the habit of saying hi to Evan every time I walk by that hidden picture I have of him. Maybe I don’t want to break that habit. God’s still showing me where my treasure lives now.
In my search for Heaven here on Earth, I’m not going to find it in my Amazon luxuries. I won’t even find complete comfort in the things left behind. Heaven came as a baby. Spoiler alert: I always have skipped ahead in books, and I read Luke 24:50. Easter is coming.
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