The main reason for starting this series (one that seems to almost be eternal) was that I started to think about what our picture of eternity is truly like, and whether or not we as Christians actually want to go there.
Of course, our first response is that we want to go there, seeing as the alternative is anything but pleasant. We’ve sold Heaven strictly as the alternative to Hell, and I think that we have failed to truly understand what it is all about and that we should truly long for “those pearly gates.”
Back in May I had started to think that if I was going to take this blogging concept seriously, that I needed to find a topic that I could write about for a while and devote some of my study time towards.
It turned out that I went on a road trip with my pastor for a week to Missouri and back from New Brunswick. While there we were able to rekindle an old love: Starbucks. Now, it’d been some time since I actually had a Starbucks, much less enjoyed one. But for some reason we had Siren Radar that started halfway through Maine and continued the entire trip.
Anyway, if you haven’t noticed, Starbucks is printing blurbs on their cups by famous people, movie stars, authors, etc. In fact, Rick Warren is even featured on some editions of the cup. I had read that somewhere, but had forgotten about it as I have very little access to the chain out here. But as we were waiting for the van to go through an oil change, I stopped and read the cup I was drinking. Here is what it said:
“Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can’t wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They’re basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell.”
– Joel Stein; Columnist for the Los Angeles Times (Starbucks Coffee; “The Way I See It” #230)
Apparently, we as the Church of Christ have done a lousy job of advertising Heaven to those who are on the path that leads away from it. We have somehow allowed Heaven to become so common and earthly that it shows up in cartoons as characters having received wings, a halo and a harp; movies are made of angels doing things that can hardly be called angelic; and commercials use angels as a gimmick to advertise the heavenliness of something so lame as cream cheese.
This final section on the line of eternity may only take a one or two more posts, so please stick with me. I hope to be done this or next week. But before we dive in, I have a bit of homework for you.
Ask yourself how you the two questions I’ve listed below. Please, feel free to comment with your answers. Be honest and open, and don’t worry about being right or wrong. Right now, it’s just a way of seeing what the common conceptions of eternity are. Thanks.
- How would you define Heaven?
- Do you wish you were in Heaven?
Why or why not?