On Sunday, the first of Advent, our family sat at the dinner table after church for a meal. I was still trying to assemble our Advent wreath while we talked about the meaning of lighting the first candle: hope. We began discussing the reasons Jesus came to be born as a person and what hope looks like; what is missing for which Jesus’ life brings hope. This, of course, discharged so many lines of thought that only a family of vociferous dyslexics can yield! Vociferous—such a great word. So, Lysander, my metaphysical-minded companion, happily took to the stream that focused on Heaven (one aspect of the hope we have). We talked of what Heaven might be like, what it might mean for the Kingdom of Heaven to be at hand, in our midst, on earth as it is. . . , and in our hearts. And we referenced, as we ought, the perspective and writing of our distinguished father/papa, and his, Salvation Means Creation Healed.
There were several themes we touched on as regards Heaven and how we live and operate for, well, forever. We mentioned marriage and gender/sex and the current aging process, whether new people will come into being, and what is forever, anyway? Then, Lysander and I got caught up in the physics of walking through walls (as Jesus did post-resurrection) and getting older and how unworkable it would be to, with physical bodies, live forever. “It would be impossible since, according to the laws of physics, we age to death—and God created the laws of physics. . . ,” mused Lysander (who is 13!) I reflected that the body Jesus resurrected with could, indeed, moved through walls (into a locked room), and there is math that can describe how matter can move through a solid barrier—albeit one atom at a time and over, like, a thousand years, or something as unimaginable. But! the first decision to distrust God’s instruction and go against it set in motion a disruption of perfect union and order such that another law of physics came into play: entropy.
Everything decays. All that is sure and whole and solid pulls apart eventually. Still, Christ is “before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Col. 1:17 And, therein lies our hope! Even now—on earth as it is in Heaven—when everything seems to be falling apart around me, or in the very depth my heart, my soul, I have not the strength to keep it together, the Spirit of God dwelling within me . . . does. Hope.