What hope does everlasting life hold for us? It reminds us that this present fallen world is not all there is; soon we will live with and enjoy God forever in the new city, in the new heaven and the new earth, where we will be fully and forever freed from all sin and will inhabit renewed, resurrection bodies in a renewed, restored creation. (New City Catechism)
When the door swings out and, face-to-face we realise
all our clutching life could only mimic, never be,
we shall not fall
for all our walking here has been stumbling.
Now we stumble –
for who wouldn’t, when wandering in cloud?
Then we shall move
in the fluency of union,
life itself again – no shadow –
and never will we grasp for knowing
that we are held
Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension? Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as he came down to earth physically on our account, and he is now advocating for us in the presence of his Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us his Spirit. (New City Catechism)
Not waiting in vain,
men and women thirsting at a cloudless sky,
nor farmers ploughing a desert.
hiding behind a veil of hands
or the clenched-fisted ones in the corner.
No metaphor sates us:
only a body will do. Only
face-to-face, Father to Son,
full sight in place of dim mirrors.
And so a body grows,
and for a body, a home with walls
solid to the touch, but never closed,
a welcome that has arms,
a priest who bears scars,
a love decked with nails,
risen, no fall.
What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us? Christ triumphed over sin and death by being physically resurrected, so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come. Just as we will one day be resurrected, so this world will one day be restored. But those who do not trust in Christ will be raised to everlasting death. (New City Catechism)
And so, like the first fruits, He shows us what will be,
like the early fig I saw when winter had ravaged the tree:
hopeful, I return every day, expectant of the taste. So it is for the spirit.
Sometimes its workings are invisible
yet it is firm, this life which grabs you, arrests you.
Step out and see. Today is not like that first garden.
That day we clutched onto life that was not ours
This will not end. Though it linger, wait.
First you ate the fruit of death; now life’s fruit is on the tree.
You sow each day; tomorrow, reap
what life or death may bring.
Where is Christ now? Christ rose bodily from the grave on the third day after his death and is seated at the right hand of the Father, ruling his kingdom and interceding for us, until he returns to judge and renew the whole world. (New City Catechism)
if the body stands
is the head?
if the family follows
is the leader?
No bad faith. Though we wait,
this is active:
for I have felt the hands,
though never touching skin, hold on,
and I have heard the voice (no sound)
speak my name and plead.
And I have seen these foes gather as one
united by a merciful head.
And I have heard heaven’s call say, Come up.
Though it tarry,
it won’t delay.
What is the Lord’s Supper? Christ commanded all Christians to eat bread and to drink from the cup in thankful remembrance of him and his death. The Lord’s Supper is a celebration of the presence of God in our midst; bringing us into communion with God and with one another; feeding and nourishing our souls. It also anticipates the day when we will eat and drink with Christ in his Father’s kingdom. (New City Catechism)
Nothing says it better than this.
We should not be eating here;
crumbs beneath the table are
more than we deserve.
But come –
The table welcomes us, carries for us
the means by which we come.
Water, wine, bread: so elemental,
so assumed, passed by as ordinary.
Heaven in ordinary greets in this meal:
the simplicity of friends gathered at table,
the wonder of friendship
with the Bread and the Vine.