My Song for the Season: “Here Comes Heaven”

Every year, I focus on a different aspect of Christmas. I’ll usually hear a song on the radio that sticks out to me and reminds me to be conscious of whatever God is teaching me. Listening to actual Christmas music about the birth of Christ and not about drinking hot cocoa and waiting for Santa Claus is so refreshing for my soul!

The last couple of years, God has put it on my heart to pay attention to the fact that Jesus came to us. Before the Christmas season even started, I listened to Elevation Worship’s new CD Hallelujah Here Below on Spotify. On my phone, if I’m listening to a particular CD, sometimes Spotify will throw in songs from the artist that are on a different album. When the song “Here Comes Heaven” came on, I thought it was from a Christmas album. But that’s the beauty of Christian music: when we have Christ in our hearts, it is Christmas every day. This song brought tears to my eyes when I first listened to it. I knew this is what God wanted to teach me this year.

Before Christ came to Earth, the people of God did not hear a prophecy or any word from the Lord for 400 years. For centuries, people waited for salvation and peace with God. They performed their rituals in hopes that they were pleasing God, waiting to hear from Him. Little did they know that He was preparing the way for Heaven to come to Earth.

In the ninth chapter of his book, Isaiah prophecies what it would be like for the Messiah to come to Earth:

“the people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2, NIV).

When I was a kid and would have panic attacks, I would run to my parents and ask them to help me. Instead of addressing it, sometimes they would just tell me to think about something else. If I couldn’t sleep, my dad would tell me to dream of going to Florida on vacation. Just putting my attention on something else brought me such peace.

This Christmas season, I want to focus my attention on Christ. During the most depressing time of year, it is easy to get caught up in buying the right presents, filling our schedules with parties, and forcing ourselves to interact with family members we don’t like. But that’s not what Christmas is about. In fact, it’s not about us at all. Christmas is about Jesus coming to Earth, giving us peace with God, peace with others, and ultimately, peace with ourselves.

“Here Comes Heaven” is about how peace has finally come. We don’t have to strive anymore. We don’t have to wait anymore. While we shop and wait and traffic and wear our ugly Christmas sweaters to different events, we can trust that the work is finished. Jesus already took care of everything that needed to take place.

What is our response to Christ coming to Earth? Worship. Praise. Recognition. It is okay to enjoy different Christmas traditions, but at the end of the day, we need to remember the One who took away our grief, our confusion, and our enmity with God. We can now have all the fruits of the Spirit.

This year, consider what it means for Heaven to come to Earth in your life. While God has a global (universal!) perspective of His creation, He also values you and has a unique and specific plan for you. If Heaven came to you this year, what would that look like? How would your life be different? What fears wouldn’t make sense anymore? What mourning would be lifted from you? What wait will finally be over?

Photo by Sam Schooler on Unsplash

Wisdom Wednesday

Heaven on Earth

I have good news to share with you all:

The Kingdom of God is here!

I’m so excited that this is a reality, that this is the good news that we are called to share.  The gospel is not simply a one-way ticket to Heaven (although it is an important part of the Christian faith).  The gospel is not a way for God to remove all the pain and suffering from my life (although I believe God has the ability to heal me and give me a life free from suffering if He wanted!).  No, the gospel is God meeting us where we are right now and setting the world free by destroying death and redeeming His creation.

Do you want to be a part of it?

I’ve been reading the book Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright*, and that book has changed my entire perspective on my life as a Christian.  On Monday, my friend and co-worker shared a sermon from John Ortberg* with me that was about the kingdom of God, and the fact that eternal life begins here and now.  So, I felt like there was a pattern in what God was teaching me, and I would like to share what I learned with you today.

We have been taught from an early age that the gospel is simply believing that Jesus died so that you can go to Heaven.  We have this mentality that Christianity is all about what Jesus can do for me, and whatever I suffer in this life, I will never have to deal with it in the next.  It doesn’t matter if I sin, it doesn’t matter if I’m mean to people, it doesn’t matter if others hurt me…my ultimate hope is going to Heaven when I die.

Sadly, I spent much of my Christian life like this.  As one who tends to avoid pain and responsibility, I like the idea that Jesus died so that I can never be hurt, so that there will always be sunny skies and comfy pillows and blessings.  I guarded my heart, protecting myself from the world, believing that if I just held on long enough and kept myself free from sin, I would be able to enjoy sitting on fluffy clouds, eating ice cream with no calories, and partying with my relatives who had gone before me.

This was my gospel; it was the gospel centered around me.

Although this life sounds pretty great, the life that Jesus promises is even better.  His plan involves helping us see beyond ourselves.  His plan involves restoration, redemption, and revival…and we are able to be a part of it.  Jesus did not come just to protect you from this “evil” world; He came so you could help Him in restoring all of creation to what it used to be.

It starts when we accept Jesus into our hearts.

This means recognizing the work Jesus did on Earth, believing that His sacrifice was enough to save your sins, and then submitting to God’s will.  Having a relationship with Jesus is asking Him what He desires, knowing full well that He loves us, and trusting Him to not only provide for your needs, but for the needs of all of His creation.

When we accept God’s will for us, we begin to pray as Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

After that, we trust in faith that God will provide us the guidance and wisdom to know how to live in Heaven on Earth.  Whether it’s caring for someone who is sick, advocating the rights of the poor, or even smiling at a friend who needs encouragement, you can assist in bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth. And since God is a good God, we know that His Kingdom will make the world a better place, one soul, one smile, one prayer at a time.

Are you fixing your eyes on the problems in this world and losing hope, or are you hoping that Jesus comes back soon so that He could clean up all of our mess?  I have even greater news for you than either of those two options: Before Jesus comes back, we have the opportunity to bring Heaven to Earth through our worship, our service to God, and overall, through His love flowing out of us.




bd daniel. “John Ortberg The Kingdom of God Pepperdine University
2014.”  Online video clip. YouTube. 10 April 2015. Web. 17 July 2017.

Wright, N. T. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection,
and the Mission of the Church.  
New York: Harper Collins, 2008.  Print.