I remember a little gospel song I learned as a child, “This world is not my home, I’m just a’passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
Well I don’t mind those simple gospel songs and I’m glad I learned that one at an Evangelical camp called Ha-Lu-Wa-Sa which was started by a stalwart old fellow called Uncle Charlie who bought 300 acres of blueberry bog in New Jersey got a second hand bulldozer and turned it into a Christian camp.
The fact that our Father is in heaven is an immediate reminder that our faith is not of this world. It has to do with the intersection of this world and the next world. I’m born here, but I’m born for there. The fact that I pray to my Father in heaven reminds me that I’m a prodigal away from home and that I should not only be headed there, but putting all my efforts into making sure I make the long journey home.
Furthermore, the fact that my Father (and therefore my home) is in heaven, reminds me that the faith I follow is supernatural. It’s not just a religion of good works and nice liturgy and being kind to one another and ‘gathering together the people of God.’ Every act of worship, every word of prayer, every action, every thing I do is done in the light of my baptism. Every word I say, every decision I make is done in the direction of heaven and with a heavenly dimension.
This means, while I am still here below, I am also graced with life and light from above. If my father is in heaven and that is my destiny, then some of that heaven is here below in me and through me and if in me and through me, then in and through all I meet, and my recognizing heaven above is just another way to pray that I might see heaven below and learn to live in the heaven of this present moment until the day when I live in the eternal moment of heaven…where there is no weeping or crying and where there is no need for the sun or the moon because the Lamb himself is the Light of that city.