Heavenly Getaway Bags


Dear ABQ Central Church Family:


How many of you plan to travel this summer? What kind of vacation are you looking forward to? Is it a favorite activity like camping in the mountains? Is it a favorite place? Like the beach with its quiet rejuvenating lapping of the waves and underwater paradise of colored fish and silent beauty?


We all need time off to rejuvenate, be refreshed and to spend uninterrupted days clasping the hands of those we love.


How do you pack when you’re getting ready to travel? Are you one of those who never forget an item? Or one who always seems to remember just what you forgot to pack as soon as you get on the interstate or get to the airport?


I love the preparation: it’s fun to figure out the kinds of things needed for a particular trip. I may not need a suit but I’d definitely miss out on the point of the trip without a bathing suit and snorkel! In other words, I plan to live the kind of live that’s needed for the place I’m going.


I think that has exciting application for us as we plan for our eternal home. One day soon, Jesus will return to take us to that highly anticipated paradise. How are we preparing for that trip?


We easily realize that we cannot pack physical gear into our heavenly getaway bags! But the one thing we can pack is character. This puts preparation into a whole new light because whatever I’m allowing to flow out of my character is what I’m planning to take into heaven!


The problem there are certain hurtful attitudes and dysfunctions that we think are justified here that have no place in heaven. But the more we permit ourselves to cling to them the more we convince ourselves they are justified.


The problem is God has his own TSA Agent called the Holy Spirit. And He screens our baggage to make sure we will not bring in the kinds of things that cause wounding and suffering to His children.


It’s a good reminder to examine our ‘baggage’—our characters—to make sure we are treating others not with disdain but with mercy and kindness. So, does the way we treat each other here match up with the way God wants us to treat each other in His heavenly kingdom? That’s what we should be ‘packing’ and practicing for our heavenly trip!


It’s not too late to get some new baggage packed with the lovely clothing of Christ’s righteousness and the fruits of His loving and merciful character!


Let us show each other we are truly getting ready for our heavenly trip home!


In His Joys,


Pastor John :)