Living Out Our Heavenly Citizenship in the Here and Now
After two weeks of soaking in the beautiful beaches, delicious food, and hospitality of Greece, I was ready to go home. I could almost feel the air conditioning. My bed. My pillow. My hair dryer. My car. The comforts I had been lacking on my amazing vacation. Those things I routinely take for granted were on the forefront of my mind as we boarded our 6AM flight from Athens to Amsterdam.
Little did I know that upon arrival in Amsterdam we would be subjected to several additional security check points. We were herded into a line with everyone else whose boarding pass directed them to gate D1. AKA the additional security checkpoint for everyone headed to the United States. My heart began to race. My face flushed. The men at the little stands did not smile. They did not use a kind voice. They pulled people randomly from the line asking questions like, "Are you traveling alone?" "Where are you coming from? Where are you headed?" The woman in the hijab. The African couple. The agitated man.
Thankfully when it was my turn, the man was kind. He had gentile eyes. He asked me if I had enjoyed my vacation in Greece. I stammered out some answers and let out a deep breath as I passed through the doors to the other side. The side for people free to travel to the USA. We cursed Trump. He must be responsible for this inconvenience.
Unfortunately, as we inched through the line to scan our boarding passes and board our plane to Detroit, I was denied immediate access and selected for a "random" security screening. Sigh. Empty bag. Empty purse. Swabbed. Patted down. Arms raised. Shoes off. Finally cleared to go home. Whew.
I have never been so eager to land in Detroit. Customs? No problem. I'm a citizen. I belong in the United States. They smiled and said, "Welcome home."
After more than twelve hours of sleep in my own bed I awoke the next morning and read Philippians 3:20:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
By God's grace I am a citizen of heaven. A daughter. An heir. Adopted.
Because Jesus died on the cross for me, I can claim my heavenly citizenship.
My position as an inheritor of heaven should cause me to pause and ask, "How am I living in light of this identity?" What impact does this blessed status have on my daily life? Do I yearn, and long, and pine after my heavenly home as I do for my earthly one?
What responsibilities and identifying characteristics of a heavenly-bound soul am I neglecting in my comfortable, Earthly bubble?
During the toughest moments of my divorce I remember longing for heaven so strongly that I begged God to return. Today God, today. Please relieve this pain. Bring me home.
But now? I have plans. Every day I have my own plans that I want to accomplish in my own way, for my own purposes, and with my own imagined outcomes. I rarely engage God in a longing-for-Heaven-right-now session.
Over the next month I plan to write a series of posts on how I will more intentionally seek after that heavenly identity. That God-given blessing of heavenly citizenship. How can I balance this with my earthly citizenship and the unrest we see in our country today? I want to know how to best communicate my joy and love. My guaranteed happy ending. My hope and my God who promises another home.
Please join me this month as we focus in on our most important citizenship. Building our Heavenly tribe. Loving our fellow citizens. Honoring God with our position as His beloved heavenly people.