From the Editor

Are we home yet?

Heaven is our home, but so is planet earth

My cousin has lived and worked in western Oregon for nearly five years now. She relocated there from the greater Twin Cities area on an assignment which will soon come to an end. She told me during August, “We have family in both Minnesota and Oregon. We have good friends in both places. Soon we have to decide whether to stay here or move back. We’re not sure we know where home is right now.”

Then she offered a possible solution. “I guess we could own a place in both locations.” She cheerfully admitted that, like me, she’s not in an income bracket that makes that much of an option.

It occurs to me that my cousin is really at home in whichever locale she stays. It’s not unlike our situation on planet Earth. Some Christians have offered a false choice, suggesting Earth is a place of pilgrimage, but “heaven is our home.” (Gordon Lathrop comments on this idea in an article elsewhere on this month’s Web site).

For Christians, the answer to the question, “Are we home yet?” is one that makes us all sound like economists: “Well, yes … and no.” Heaven really is our home, and God is waiting to welcome us there. I attended the funeral for my Uncle Paul during August. He was 91 when he died and he was really ready to go to be in God’s full presence. Those of us who gathered in Kansas City to celebrate his life are confident that he has “gone home.”

But Uncle Paul was at home in this world for 91 years. So are the rest of us who have not yet gone to the grave. God is the steward of the home that awaits, but we are the stewards of this one. Some Christians have refused to behave as though planet Earth is a home worth protecting. The current movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” makes this all too painfully clear.

But now we’re waking up to the dangers our earthly home is facing. Even conservative Christians are organizing. Well, most of them are. James Dobson, who has a huge radio following, opposed fighting global warming by saying giving energy to it “might distract us from more important issues.” That’s like saying you can’t fight a fire burning down your house because you signed an earlier pledge to conserve water.

Are we home yet? Well, yes … and no.