Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pentecost as dimensions coming together...

"Though many hymns and prayers (mostly from the nineteenth and early twentieth century) speak of heaven as our home, that isn't how the Bible normally puts it. In the Bible, heaven and earth are the two halves of God's created world. They aren't so much like the two halves of an orange, more or less identical but occupying different space. They are more like the weight of an object and the stuff it's made of, or perhaps the meaning of a flag and the cloth or paper it's made of: two (related) ways of looking at the same thing, two different and interlocking dimensions, the one perhaps explaining the other. Talking about "heaven and earth" is a way, in the Bible, of talking about the fact, as many people and many cultures have perceived it to be, that everything in our world (call it "earth" for the sake of argument, though that can be confusing because that is also the name we give to our particular planet within our particular solar system, whereas "earth" in the Bible really means the entire cosmos of space, time, and matter) has another dimension, another sort of reality, that goes with it as well...

...They believed that "heaven" and "earth" are the two interlocking spheres of God's reality, and that the risen body of Jesus is the first (and so far the only) object which is fully at home in both and hence in either, anticipating the time when everything will be renewed and joined together....

...The risen (and ascended) Jesus in heaven is the presence, in God's sphere, of the first part of "earth" to be transformed into "new creation" in which heaven and earth are joined; the pouring out of the spirit on earth is the presence, in our sphere, of the sheer energy of heaven itself. The gift of the spirit is thus the direct result of the ascension of Jesus. Because he is the Lord of all, his energy, the power to be and do something quite new, is available through the spirit to all who call on him, all who follow him, all who trust him."

- NT Wright - Acts for Everyone, Part One

No comments: