Have begun packing to relocate to Billings, Montana. The moving process feels odd: you take a house and remove all of its glory. Now everything is packaged in ugly brown boxes, and soon those packages will be shoved into an uglier moving box-van.
In effect, the glory of a home is buried; dying, the glory is buried in boxes.
All of the personal items that give the initially empty house a humanizing element are buried. So too the decorative things and furniture; everything which made the house “feel” like a glorious home is packaged and buried.
Making a home is merely an element of Christian obedience. It is like a bullet on a page, or a chapter in a book, or a theological loci — making a home — it is an item in a list, an element of an enumerated–obedient-response to God’s dominion mandate/cultural mandate for man (see Genesis 1:28).
God said, “Subdue and cultivate the world,” and that is why a Christian makes a corner here on earth their home. This is one of the true tests against the heresy of Gnosticism: Are you willing to obey God enough to tend to something as seemingly unspiritual as four walls and a roof? Are you willing to be thoroughly incarnational, that is, thoroughly earthly, and tend to a house and yard. To wit, to tend to a temporary home? which can and ought to represents your true heavenly home (the Christian home is to be an outpost of the Heavenly Kingdom).
A Christian makes a home here and now. Not in spite of, but because they are on a pilgrimage to their true home in the Celestial Garden-City, the New Jerusalem.
We are moving. My family is moving to Montana. And the glory of our home is buried in boxes.
I know we’ll decorate and humanize and make the next empty house into a glorious home, but knowing that doesn’t make the moving process easier, and it certainly doesn’t alleviate the “odd” feelings created by a relocation of residency.
However, I am thankful for these feelings. But it is not in order to be sentimental. It isn’t that at all. There is much more to the story than merely living in this rental the past 3+ years and making it our home. Specifically, in January of 2010, it was God who answered our prayers and provided a beautiful rental and a Christian landlord when we moved to Warsaw, Indiana, and it is God, again, who has answered our prayers and provided a beautiful rental and a Christian landlord for us in Billings, Montana. It is an odd feeling because on the one hand, God answered our prayers in 2010 and brought us to this rental in Warsaw, but on the other hand, again God has answered our prayers and is taking us from this home (which was an answer to prior prayer) to our new home (which is an answer to new prayer). The oddness, however, is commonplace for the Christian, who is in accordance with God’s will and by the work of the Spirit and through prayer, is continually transitioning from one type of glory to the next type of glory.
All of this is gift. Gratitude is the only proper response to each new bend in the road of the journey, to each new page turned in the story we are a part of. And even though it is a gift, and even though gratitude is the obedient response, I still feel an oddness.
Providentially these feelings and thoughts have converged during Easter. This is the day in our Church Calendar that we remember the Resurrection.
The incarnate Christ was smitten and stricken, He was killed by sinners. However, God raised him from the dead. The Father raised Christ and changed him from one type of incarnate glory to another kind of incarnate (resurrected) glory.
As the Gospel of John says, Christ was “lifted up” on the Cross — a word play is at work, Christ was “lifted up”, that is, he was “glorified” by the Father in the foolishness of the Cross and subsequent Resurrection. The Father “glorified” Christ through Cross and Resurrection; the Father has made Christ both Lord and Savior and the world has become his footstool, and now Christ’s kingdom is extending into the corners and shadows. Because Christ was lifted up and glorified the curse has been rolled back, and both redeemed man and the world are being (and eventually will completely be) changed from one type of glory in to another (resurrected) glory.
The glorious Christ was lifted up on the cross; He died and was buried, and then the Father lifted him up from the grave. God lifted up the glorious Christ from out of the package of death and in so doing he glorified the world because we (the Saints, the Elect, the Bride) rose to new life with Christ. And now Christ has made all things new; Christ has risen, therefore, this world is a temporary home for the Bride, the Church.
Christ ascended to prepare a permanent-heavenly home for his Bride.
Someday I will die. I will be placed in a box and stuck in the ground and when Christ returns I will be resurrected and I will be changed from glory to glory and I will go home.
All of these boxes laying around my house…it feels odd because the glory of this house has been buried in said boxes. However, these boxes remind me of resurrected life, they are signs pointing towards a new life, new glory, and a the new home in Montana that is coming on the other side of this figurative death.
All of this is a gift. I receive it with gratitude, and hope.