As I gaze through the study window, there are two trees in front of the house standing in stark contrast. Both are tall and majestic, well over five stories tall. The one on the left stands tall in hope of the spring to come; representing all that is not yet to be with no leaves in sight. The one on the right is standing bathed in green, living in hope of giving birth to the next generation at all times of the year.
We do not need to live in the hope of God's relationship to come at some time in the future. God's gift to us is an open door to relationship now, immediately at our request. It is true that this has not always been the case. People before Christ lived in anticipation of the Messiah yet to come, but this is not our position. We have the opportunity to accept the gift with the full knowledge of what it can mean. Even when we choose to turn away from God, the door stands unlocked before us. We can know this hope.
We have gotten so used to the trees that we pass them several times a day without even thinking of what they represent. It is the same with God. We have listened to the story of Christmas for most, if not all, of our lives. We sense the build-up, enjoy the presents, revel and stuff ourselves with friends and family over tables filled with far too much food. Then we move on, never quite understanding the words to the Christmas hymns we sing, rushing through the season less someone accuse us of being too sentimental, and quickly focusing on the New Year's celebrations just days away.
The reality of hope and heaven today is “precisely as revealed in the mystery kept secret for so long but now an open book through the prophetic Scriptures.” (Romans 16.26) People before Christ lived in hope; we have an open door to the reality of hope day.
Are you ready to step through with me?