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Hearts Ablaze

“Were not our hearts burning within us…?” they asked each other. It is one of my favorite events in the entire Bible, high on the list of “wish-I-was-there” moments. The risen Christ had appeared to the two men as they traveled the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus, and as the three of them walked the road together, Jesus “explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”1 When they finally recognized Him, “he disappeared from their sight,”2 and with hearts ablaze, they immediately trekked all the way back to the city to testify to the disciples about His resurrection.

There is a vision that likewise burns in human hearts—“A great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,”3 and the coming time when “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”4 It ignites our passion and calms our fears. It illumines our path and overshadows our past. It summons our trust and outshouts our doubts. It beckons us, “Come!”; it calls us to rest. And it aligns our steps today with what will be forever.

The Bible tells us that we who live by faith are “foreigners and strangers on earth,”5 and we long for “a better country—a heavenly one.”6 “Our citizenship is in heaven,” writes Paul, “and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”7 There, we are “no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.”8 This is who we are, and this is our home; yet we are here. Then how does our current citizenship in a Kingdom yet to come guide us in the here and now? We regard people not by their earthly worldviews that divide, rather we engage them in the truth of Christ who would unite us in Himself. We stake our wellbeing not in flawed leaders of this age—people are people, after all—rather we live in the peace and confidence of Him who remains sovereign above them. Remembering life in darkness, we live as “children of light.”9 As Kingdom citizens in this foreign land, we do here what we can only do here—we point to freedom in a Kingdom yet to come. Yes, Lord, Thy Kingdom come.

Father, we live in your Kingdom, even as we wait for it to come. Grace us to extend the grace we have received and to share the living hope in which we now hope, that people would live freely in your presence. We pray in the name of the King. Amen.

1 Luke 24:27
2 Luke 24:31
3 Revelation 7:9
4 Revelation 11:15
5 Hebrews 11:13
6 Hebrews 11:16
7 Philippians 3:20
8 Ephesians 2:19
9 Ephesians 5:8

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