27 Nov 2012 RyanArmes

Reflections of Heaven, Communities of Hope

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Regent University - GarmischSeveral years ago, my family and I spent a fall vacation in the German Alpine town of Garmisch. Our week there was absolutely amazing. It was one of those rare times in life when God pushed aside life’s concerns and gave us, as a family, a glimpse of the love, peace, joy and beauty that we will enjoy eternally in Heaven.

In our hearts and minds, nearly everything about that vacation was a metaphor and an image of Heaven to come. The fact that our family was together without a lot of stress, the October beauty of the mountains, the clean crisp air, and the wonderful Bavarian cuisine were just some of the reflective highlights.

I believe, and often tell my wife, that we may have even entertained an angel disguised as an old German man named Hepp. For a small fee (so small that it seemed suspicious), Hepp offered us a ride in his horse and buggy back to our car after we tirelessly walked several kilometers to see a waterfall. Hepp’s pleasant and gentle demeanor was overtly displayed when he voluntarily spread a blanket over my sleeping infant daughter before carrying us away in his buggy.

“But as it is written:
‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”
- Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

Garmisch, Germany, in that week was a powerful, yet dim, reflection of the type of community that we will live in when Jesus is the Master, King and Ruler of not only our hearts and lives, but of our world and our community. Personally, I’m so excited about a Christ-ruled world that I can hardly wait, but I must, and I will. As Christians, we must and we should. Why? Because even the best communities here , even on a good day, are largely broken and struggling groups of people compared to the glory that we will experience under Christ’s rule.

As Christians, we possess the ability, by virtue of who our Father is, of ruling in the image of Christ and bringing a wonderful balance to those communities in which we live. Regent University is a great place to become equipped to learn those Christian community attributes.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
- Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the very word regent means “ a person who rules or reigns” (2012). We may not get to wear crowns or make decisions affecting kingdoms of millions of people, but it does mean that we will rule in the domains that we have been charged with.

Let us always rule with the grace and wisdom that God has given to us through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With that, I leave you with Matthew 5:14 in which Jesus tells his disciples how important their role is in this world of broken communities: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (NKJV).

References:

Regent. 2012. Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved Oct 12, 2012, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/regent

The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Ryan Armes

MA in Organizational Leadership

Online Student

Evansville, IN

Kung Fu blackbelt. In an alternate world where I’m not petrified of audiences, I’d be an actor. Would offer you peanut butter for your sandwich, but I’m currently finishing the last spoonful as I type.
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