Three questions to close out our Summer Q&A series. I’m so thankful for all the questions. If you would like this series to continue, please let me know and email/message me your questions!
Our first question is, “Do you believe the people in heaven can see us here on earth?”
I don’t know. The bible doesn’t say. My faith isn’t about getting to heaven, it’s about getting heaven here (“as on earth as it is in heaven”). I like the idea my loved ones in heaven are sending me reminders and signs of their love. There is a lot of comfort in that concept. Yet a friend in seminary reflected that if heaven is outside of space and time, then we all get there at the same time. It wouldn’t be heaven for him if all his loved ones weren’t there. Granted the waiting time would be very fast, but he liked the idea that we’re all there already, all at once. I have been pondering that mystery ever since I had that conversation.
Since Justice and Witness protocol has recently changed, how will our church address these issues?
The Justice and Witness committee has been vacant for 3 years. This affects our quorum on council. We are a minus one at each meeting. Meanwhile the ministries of this committee like the Easter Bags and touching base with the county jail continue through the Mission Team. Justice is always the goal of God. God never says, “I need more worship” in scripture. Instead, God says, “Stop your worship and give me more justice!” (See Amos 5). That’s our goal and it will happen throughout the life of our church no matter what. We don’t exist just for ourselves, we exist for God’s Beloved Community where peace and justice reign. The only thing that has ended an empty seat on council. The goal remains the same.
I know that Jesus says, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” how can I really forgive myself for past regrets?
The punk band Idles sing in their song Television, “If someone talked to you, the way you do to you, I’d put their teeth through. Love yourself.” I listen to that song a lot. It’s advice I need. One of my favorite hobbies is setting impossible expectations for myself and then beating myself up for not reaching those impossible heights. I’m slowly learning to forgive myself. I find it easier to forgive others, than my own regrets. Sounds like you’re a kindred soul in this department.
If Jesus could forgive our endless bloodlust that put him on the cross, then I could figure out how to forgive myself. If God can forgive me and God knows me better than I know myself, then I should be able to do it. Paul writes in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” The whole point of the Book of Romans is our need for God’s grace and that nothing can separate us from that love found in Christ Jesus. Sooner or later, we have to believe it and stand for it, especially for ourselves. If we can’t believe God loves us, then do we really believe in God’s amazing grace? Love yourself.