True Heaven

Biltmore Asheville

You believe in God; believe also in Me. (John 14:1)

Almighty God made the heavens and the earth. He knows all and governs all.

Every generation of mankind gets born basically knowing this. Knowing that the Creator made us. Mother Nature herself puts within us an overwhelming desire: to know God and to have His friendship.

Then we encounter the confusion and disinformation of this self-obsessed world. It tries to talk us out of the most basic truth, the truth of intimate prayer. The fact that the God Who made us has a plan for us, loves us, and draws us to Himself constantly, so that, in the end, we can share His blessedness.

The world wants us to obsess about far-lesser things. Like switching from cable to Netflix. Or: does the style of my car really suit me? Or: What will I have for dinner?

But: Above all this; before all this; encompassing all this: our Creator, our God. Prayer. Our Father. Thy will be done. Give us our daily bread. Deliver us from evil.

ice cream coneThis great God to whom we pray made the heavens and the earth. And He raised Jesus from the dead.

Some divine things remain altogether mysterious to us. We can’t quite imagine the act of making the heavens and the earth out of nothing. Not to mention knowing everything and guiding everything with perfect wisdom.

But we can feature the facts of Jerusalem in 33 AD; we can picture them with no problem: Unjust men mercilessly executed the great teacher of love for no good reason. They laid His expired body in a tomb on Friday evening. Then, on Sunday morning, some of His disciples saw Him walking around, very much alive and well.

We can see these historical events of Easter in our mind’s eye. Then we wonder: How did this occur? What power intervened? Who exactly was it, that overcame the cruel blow which left the Lamb of God dead and cold?

The answer is: God. The Creator. The same unimaginable power that made everything, knows everything, and governs everything. He raised Jesus from the dead.

And that’s when God really showed His true colors. Yes, He shows His true colors every time He makes the sun rise. But He really revealed Himself when He raised Jesus from the dead.

Jesus said: “Believe in God; believe also in Me.” We believe in God Almighty, the Creator, Who raised Jesus from the dead. And we believe in the Christ of God. As Jesus put it: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

As I mentioned, mankind gets born religious. But we have a lot of religions on earth, and our religions can and do partake of the confusion of the fallen world. Some of the natives of these lands imagined a heaven with unlimited supplies of pipe tobacco. And in the Arab world, there’s something about virgins.

Charles Bosseron Chambers Sacred Heart of JesusBut our religion aims at one thing: Jesus Himself. We hope for no greater reward. God can give us no greater reward than His only-begotten.

Now, fair enough: some of us might get distracted sometimes. Maybe some people daydream of bowling in heaven, for all eternity. Or eating endless ice cream cones, one after another. Or dozing in a hammock on the back porch of the Biltmore down in Asheville, with a servant ready to bring a mint julep whenever you want one.

But no reward we can imagine truly reveals the perfect, unending happiness that Almighty God has prepared for us in Christ. Anything that we could fantasize about falls short of the truth, no matter how lavish or luxurious. Our imaginations cannot exactly help us with this, except when, asking for the Holy Spirit’s help, we imagine Jesus Himself.

We can imagine Him. His face. His peace. His loving gaze.

On the Lord’s face, the true blessedness of heaven shines out. The undying love of God dwells in His Heart. It operates there, expresses itself through Jesus’ Body, and touches us. We find the reward that our souls seek in communion with Christ, the man, the Nazarene, God our brother. Nowhere else. To see Christ is to see the Father. Our hearts can rest in Him. Here, and only here: divine blessedness.

Philip didn’t understand. “Lord, show us the Father, then we’ll be satisfied!”

We can hardly blame Philip. He clamored like a child. Lord, we believe in You! Give us unlimited ice cream! Or maybe a Lexus to drive in heaven forever!

But Jesus says, No, my children. Do you not know Me? The Father wills to give you a place in His house. And His house is My Heart.

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