Advent 2022: Physical Or Spiritual
December 13, 2022 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Advent 2022, Deep Thoughts

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Is Heaven Physical Or Spiritual?

For those new to Creekwood, each Advent we invite a mixture of staff and laity of all ages to bless us with their devotional thoughts to a specific question. You’ll notice we are starting at “Day 2” because Day 1 was Sunday, and the message can be experienced in worship (in person and online). I hope these devotionals bless you each day, and help you envision the presence of Christ fully into your life.

The question this year:

“What do you think of when you hear the expression ‘Kingdom of God'”

King's crown with pine wreath around it

When I think of the Kingdom of God, I have two versions. One is “earthly” and the second is “heavenly”.

In my mind, the earthly kingdom is not physical but spiritual.  When Jesus moved into the neighborhood (I needed to throw in one Rob Bell quote) he did not establish a territory with borders or a military but wanted to change people’s hearts so that God could reside in them, an internal purity. By raising their Spirituality and becoming right with God, the Kingdom could flourish. A favorite image I have was witnessing on a mission trip to East Texas where Creekwood students and adults served people who depend on God’s love (action by Others) each day. Listening to their testimony at the end of the week and watching the reaction of our students gave me confidence that the Kingdom was alive and active.

When imagining the heavenly kingdom, I like to start with John 14:1-3 where Jesus tells his disciples “I go to prepare a place for you”.  I still have trouble consistently imagining a physical place but if prepared by Jesus, I feel confident Love will be abundant along with joy and happiness.  No longer will there be issues to worry about, broken relationships, loneliness, addictions, and other human sufferings.  God, and those who have gone before, will be present with open arms to welcome all those who God chooses to accept.

In trying to keep it simple for me, a key to getting a glimpse of God’s earthly kingdom and a resident in the heavenly one can be found in Matthew 5:8.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Brandon Pitts

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