Hi Friends, David here.
The crisis of hope that afflicts the church today is a crisis of imagination. Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft writes: Medieval imagery (which is almost totally biblical imagery) of light, jewels, stars, candles, trumpets, and angels no longer fits our ranch-style, supermarket world. Pathetic modern substitutes of fluffy clouds, sexless cherubs, harps and metal halos (not halos of light) presided over by a stuffy divine Chairman of the Bored are a joke, not a glory.
Heaven as a comfortable feeling of peace and kindness, sweetness and light, and God as a vague grandfatherly benevolence, a senile philanthropist—are even more insipid. Our pictures of Heaven simply do not move us; they are not moving pictures. It is this aesthetic failure rather than intellectual or moral failures in our pictures of Heaven and of God that threatens faith most potently today. Our pictures of Heaven are dull, platitudinous and syrupy; therefore, so is our faith, our hope, and our love of Heaven.
If our pictures of heaven are to move us, they must be moving pictures. So go ahead—dream a little. Use your imagination. Picture the best possible ending to your story you can. If that isn’t heaven, something better is. When Paul says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9), he simply means we cannot out-dream God. What is at the end of our personal journeys? Something beyond our wildest imagination. But if we explore the secrets of our heart in the light of the promises of Scripture, we can discover clues. As we have said, there is in the heart of every man, woman, and child an inconsolable longing for intimacy, for beauty, and for adventure. What will heaven offer to our heart of hearts?
The love I know is a love so few discover
They need to know Jesus’ love is like no other
They save love won’t last I say love is never ending
‘Cause in You I have a love of another kind
They would change their tune they would add another measure
If they only knew this love of another kind
~ Amy Grant, Love of Another Kind.
We are in a story or war and also in a story of love. God is love, the apostle John tells us, and then he says it again so that we don’t forget, “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God” (1 John 4:16). Love is the single most defining quality of his character and his life. God is a passionate, and jealous, lover. Out of his love he creates us for love. “We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). The Scriptures tell us we are made in God’s image. You’ll notice that we human beings are, above all else, deeply and profoundly relational. Because he is. God is Trinity, a fellowship of love. Love and intimacy are the core of his being, and so he gives to each of us a heart like his. When God does this, he reveals our deepest purpose—to love and to be loved
So friends, how have you experienced this love of another kind? What will you do with this experience, how will is shape you, or how has it shaped you? May you this week learn, relearn and unlearn that love can be unconditional.
Grace and peace.