EQUIP12 'Heaven is Waiting'
Impressions by Siân Lim
For the morning to pass, for my father to arrive to babysit my children, for the bus to take me into the city.
A glittery Sydney day; water cascading, funnelling my approach through streams of tourists, crowds of name-tagged women indicating that lunch for the daylight crowd was well underway. Shading my eyes from the glare of the water I notice a group of women who are familiar to me.
Fast walking, fast food, fast talking street performers. Hurriedly checking bags of book purchases to make sure the EQUIP bookclub bookmark had been distributed, and to have a look at it ‘in the flesh’.
The wait is over.
Tony Payne’s launch of Claire Smith’s book, God’s Good Design (bookclub August); praying that it will launch conversations. Struck by Smith’s humility, her willingness to learn, to sit under God’s Word and have it instruct her heart and life.
‘Virtually Christian’ elective led by Alli Street. Mentioning Challies’ book The Next Step (bookclub 2013), disciplined discernment, “living with virtue in this digital world”. Thinking about digital technology in terms of my relationship with God and others, describing the principles of being honest, sensitive, and not causing others to stumble.
Waiting by the sinking spiral fountain for my group to arrive, catching the last of the autumn sun, watching the world shift from gold to grey. Quick coffees and quick summaries of the various electives we went to.
Sneaking into main session after the singing had started to hear Lisa Thompson’s clear exposition of 2 Peter 3. Thinking about my thinking and my desires and how I so often long for the things of this world, which are fleeting. Having my eyes and ears set for the day when Jesus will return, when the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt in the heat; when all that is broken, all that is sick and sinful will be destroyed and the New Creation will be brought in. Longing for the home of righteousness will mean living holy and godly lives now. Not being indifferent: to my difference, to my sin, to those who need to hear, to the end, which is the beginning.
Exiting the auditorium into the dark and to the nourishment of afternoon tea. Those sweet, crisp, perfectly ripe pears…
Coming back to spiritual fruit, hearing Di Warren speak on Heaven; answering questions on the what and where of heaven, and how we can experience it. The importance of understanding heaven as where God dwells, that heaven ‘moves’, but God rules everywhere, and that dwelling with God forever is the climax of the Bible and where all of God’s plans are heading. Access to heaven is through the risen Christ. Jesus as the first fruit. Finishing with words of warning, admonishment, encouragement and hope.
Heaven is waiting.
I must learn to wait.