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Scripture: John 3:1-17

Take It Further: “God’s Good Economy: Heaven Is Not as Far as We Think” by Erin Kuehn

God spoke the world into existence; with his breath and his Words, he brought forth Life. This was no seamless, painless, motion-picture moment. I imagine violence, crashing, and exhaustion.

But what God has spoken over and breathed into being, he has said it is good.

In God’s economy, “good” differs wildly from what our human economy qualifies as good. Take the season of Advent for example. Our human economy qualifies the good of this season as merriment, happiness, and lights. God’s economy of Advent is actually a season of pruning, of repentance, of making room.

You can’t avoid Advent—it could be likened to the dark night of the soul—but if we allow ourselves to surrender to God’s work in us, He will help us to see farther—and with greater depth, to see the unseen.

Advent makes room and reveals where Christ has come, where the Light shines in the darkness—where we can find the Life in death. We live in the now and not yet, and the greatest lesson I’ve mercifully learned is that heaven is not as far as we think.

But it takes practice, this putting on eyes to see heaven on earth.

The moment of my most painful practice of seeing heaven on earth was the birth of my son, which occurred after the death of my daughter. His birth was raw and gritty and had me caught in the chasm between death and life. What his delivery asked of me felt like too much—to surrender to death and bring forth life. The release of grief to physically birth him into the world was excruciating, but I couldn’t avoid it, this dark night of my soul. This Advent. It was tragic and painful and miraculous—my greatest surrender. To physically give life in the midst of figurative death. To make room.

As I pulled all 9 pounds and 11 ounces of my juicy, hefty baby boy to my chest, I wept. In the room of this surrendering, heaven had kissed earth. And while my son is not my good, he is a taste of my Good. The Good that is to come: Rescue, Life, Love.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Put your eyes on me and you will get so much more than this.” I have practiced putting my eyes on Jesus again and again and again. Psalm 105:3–4 tells us to seek his face continually. Continually I’m adjusting my perspective to see the unseen, to seek God. To experience God’s economy of good.

The story of my son’s birth is a mere string from a tapestry God is weaving together of his words and other stories breathed over my life. I know our stories are not the same, but our Good is the same: Rescue has come! To see it, we can start with our eyes. We can make room by remembering Jesus’ words to Nicodemus; we can be born from above. The change in perspective will be eternally Good.
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Further Reflection
1) Where are you stuck in the now and not yet? How can you put on fresh eyes to see how Love has come near in your waiting?

2) In Sacred Space Advent Devotional, an unknown author wrote, “Certainly, God’s ways are not our ways, and the very people who have always tried to remain fully loyal to the Lord are sometimes going to find themselves called to even deeper faith—involving an ever more privileged closeness to God” (37). I would liken “privileged closeness to God” as an experience of heaven kissing earth. When in your life has God called you to have even deeper faith, involving an ever more privileged closeness to God?

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We’d love to hear from you. Please share with us below your thoughts and insight. We would love to see Take it Further be a place where as a community we dialog, and together we all take the conversation further.

*Note: If you wish, you can look up this and other Bible passages online at youversion.com
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Mike is responsible for creating a vision and structure for spiritual formation that stimulates leadership development and active participation in the life of the Warehouse community. His desire is to help the Warehouse community to grow in its desire to love God, each other, our neighbors, our city, and our world through active interaction with Scripture, prayer, relationships, service, and the classic spiritual disciplines. Mike spends a ton of time shepherding small groups, affinity groups, mentoring, discipleship, and other formation opportunities. Oh by the way, he thinks church ought to be fun and he believes Die Hard is the best Christmas movie of all time.

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