The Good News.. what is the Good News?
It’s something that I’ve been pondering in my heart over the last year, since the time I was reading a book by Brian McLaren. What is the good news? Is it that we’re going to heaven some day? Is it that Christ died for our sins so that we could be made right with God? That is certainly good news.. it’s great news. But is that what Jesus meant when he said “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”?
The kingdom of heaven is at hand… good news… what does it mean?
And then recently an answer came to me. What does “at hand” or “near” mean? Does it mean heaven is close, yet elusive, out of reach, until we get to heaven?
The adjective at hand has 2 meanings:
Meaning #1: close in space; within reach
Meaning #2: close in time; about to occur
Maybe when Jesus said the kingdom of God is at hand, he meant that the kingdom of heaven is here and now. Anything that happened in the past, anything that can happen in the future, doesn’t ultimately matter that much. In the realm of circumstances, of this world, I may be feeling sad or bored or angry or anxious. But these emotions only exist in the realm of this world, in the realm of time. In the realm of heaven, of the eternal, they lose their heaviness, their solidity, and become translucent to the light of God. And the realm of heaven is available to us here and now. It is not available to us when we’re thinking about the past (Luke 9:62) or worrying about the future (Matt 6:25-27). It is not available when we’re thinking about or debating about theology (Luke 17:20-21). Only when we are really present can we enter, and experience “the peace of God which transcends all understanding”. So how do we enter the kingdom of heaven? Surrender to the present moment. We can practice this simply by having awareness of the present moment. When we’re thinking about anything else, we are resisting the life that God has put in front of us.