Matthew 6:10 · “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
If we simply think of life as a journey to get to some treasure at the end, our play becomes work, and we stop dancing, for we’ve missed the point.
Eastern Spiritualists like Alan Watts suggest that the universe is a musical thing, and the point is to dance and sing along.
If “heaven” is only in the future, we do seem to miss any good that is now; or even worse, we crucify the Good and turn it into evil.
For the sake of the kingdom come, Augustine—the first great Western theologian—suggested we might impose a little hell right now; we might even make folks “repent” at the point of a sword.
Heaven cannot simply be the end of a journey that sucks the life out of every moment now.
Yet, Heaven cannot simply be whatever is now, regardless of where it’s all headed, for then we couldn’t sing, dance, or play along.
The thing that makes a composition a composition is a composer.
The thing that makes music “music” is that it goes somewhere.
What gives one the ability to dance and sing along is that you know these things and that you trust that the composer of the composition is good.
The thing that allows you to appreciate the end of a story or the crescendo of a symphony is that you’ve made the journey through the concert or the book.
And it’s the crescendo that gives deeper meaning to every note you’ve heard; it’s the end of the story that makes you want to go back and read the book again.
Some worry that Heaven will be eternally boring.
Do you suppose that there could be a story so great or a symphony so beautiful that you would never ever want to stop hearing it again? For each time you listened again or read it over again, you found deeper meaning and greater beauty.
In Matthew 6:19-20, literally translated, Jesus says, “Do not treasure treasure to yourselves on earth. But treasure treasure to yourselves in heaven.”
John came preaching. Jesus came preaching, and he told his apostles to preach, “Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (which means ‘at hand.’)”
For a Jew, treasure was placed in the treasury in the temple.
A Christian believes that we are that temple.
The Jews went on a journey through the wilderness to a destination—the kingdom come—a destination that was also their origin, the paradise garden.
On the way, God had them build a tabernacle, that is a temple that contained a treasury.
The inner sanctuary was the presence of the coming age, as well as the Garden of Eden; it was the presence of the Judgment of God.
The End was The Beginning and also The Way, kind of like the plot to a story or the rhythm of a song—the logic (or Logos) of creation.
We’re all on a journey; we exist on a timeline surrounded by eternity.
Eternity is not so much timeless, but rather time-full; we won’t sit around doing nothing, but everything.
Space and time are like a womb, and we are on a journey that is our own creation. At the end of the Sixth Day, we are born into the eternal Seventh Day through a torn curtain that is the Body of Christ, broken and bleeding for each of us. In other words, the tree in the middle of the Garden is the door.
At this tree, Adam (humanity) was torn apart.
And from this tree, the King descends into every person as a breath in dust, and then, a Word spoken into the void that is our sin.
At this tree, Adam (humanity) is coming together.
“For as in Adam all die,” wrote Paul, “so also in Christ (the eschatos Adam) shall all be made alive.”
We are his body rising from the tomb in the same Garden.
He is the treasure buried in the dirty field that is your brother, your sister, and yourself.
He is at hand. And your journey through space and time is a treasure hunt.
This world is like a “Highlights’ Hidden Picture” picture. Remember those?
It would just be some boring old picture, until you discovered that there were pictures hidden in the picture, and you got to find them—that was the point: hidden treasure.
It’s ironic, but once you realized that “the picture” wasn’t the point, the whole picture became interesting because it hid the point—every tree, every barn, every person was hiding the point.
Sometimes, when I couldn’t find the picture in the “Highlights’ Hidden Picture” picture, my mom would say, “Peter, turn it upside down and look again.”
Maybe our Father turns our world upside down to help us see the hidden picture: the last are first, the humble are exalted, and to lose your life is to find it.
Each “Highlights’ Hidden Picture” picture had a key on the side of the page revealing what it was that you were to be looking for.
If this world had a key on the side of the page, it would be the tree in the middle of the Garden where we took the Life of Christ, and Christ gave and forgave His Life to each of us.
Paul wrote that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Each picture is like a frame in a movie, so the treasure is not static but actually ecstatic, for it comes together in the delirious joy of a give-ness and forgiveness, a communion of Grace.
“This is the plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him…” wrote Paul, “…making peace by the blood of his cross”—his tree.
Matthew 6:22-24 · “The eye is the lamp of the body. … You cannot serve God and possessions.”
So, take a look at Jesus on the cross; take a look at Knowledge and Life on the tree; take a look at “the Good” and “the Life,” wherever they/he may be.
What do you see?
Do you see something to possess? Is he part of your kingdom?
Or do you see someone to whom you would surrender, like a king?
If you see something to possess, all your treasure will rot, and you will turn back into dust.
But if you see someone to whom you would like to surrender, he will possess you like music possesses a dancer, and you will be joined by other dancers, and that will become a body—the dancing Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus doesn’t belong to you, or the Presbyterians, or the Catholics, or the Christians…
Jesus doesn’t belong to anybody but God. And everybody belongs to Jesus.
He is the King, and you are his Kingdom of Heaven.
It’s coming, and it’s “at hand.” Happy treasure hunting.