November 16, 2022


Philippians 3:20-4:1

Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. . . .

—  Philippians 3:20

One of my favorite movies is the animated film Up. In this film, an old man named Carl attaches thousands of helium filled balloons to his house, which then takes him and his young friend Russell up and away to fantastical adventures.

Before eating the Lord’s Sup­per, Christians in some traditions pray these words, “We lift up our hearts to the Lord.”

After Jesus died and was raised to life again, he ascended up and away to heaven. But Jesus is never far away from his people, especially when they worship, hear God’s Word, and eat the meal he gave them.

But this leads to a practical question: when we eat this meal together, does Jesus come down from heaven to meet with us on earth? John Calvin, a French pastor who lived 500 years ago, answered, “No. Actual­ly, through the mysterious power of the Holy Spirit, we, the church, are pulled up to heaven to meet with Jesus.” So even as we sit in worship, somehow our space has been pulled up to overlap with heaven. Some theologians have called this Calvin’s “vir­tual” theory of the Lord’s Supper.

Someday, when Jesus comes again, heaven will come down to earth with him, and all who believe in him will be able to live with him. Then, with heaven and earth completely overlapping, all creation will be renewed, and we will enjoy full life with the Lord forever (Revelation 21-22).

Lord, may your kingdom fully come on earth as it is in heaven. Till then, draw us up to you by your Spirit. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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