Philippians 3: 17 – 21
Saint Paul writes to the gathered people at Philippi:
17“Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. 19Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Saint Paul says: ‘Our citizenship is in heaven’. Once Paul had his eye-opening experience by meeting the Living Lord, he wanted to convince the world that Jesus was the promised Messiah of Israel’s prophecies. As a very devout Jewish person, he had awaited the signs of the coming Messiah while he served the cause of keeping the ‘pure’ faith of Israel. He served as an enforcer for the Temple hardliners, going about the countryside arresting anyone who represented the teachings of the rebel rabbi, Jesus.
Now, everything was different, for Paul and for the world. Now Paul declared that the sting of death had been overcome by the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus. And, though Jesus had come once, and left, he will return in the fullness of victory in the 2nd Coming which will release the world from its captivity to the ‘earthly things’ and set the earth free for eternal life. Thus, our true citizenship is in heaven, because it is there where we belong
I know, this is all pretty heavy stuff. But, it is a word of freedom and hope for those who have lost a loved one and who expect to die some day. So, yes, we have citizenship in a country but Paul says you also have a ‘true’ membership in a greater community, in the halls of heaven, the hope of eternity.
Your companion in Ministry,
P.S. This month we are celebrating Music Fest 2019 as we host extraordinary music from our musicians and from the 1791 Tannenberg Organ, a treasure of an instrument. And on October 27, we celebrate the 502nd anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Both of these events are full of history and are also about the future. Join with your friends at Zion and enjoy the events.