1998-06-15 - Our Passion for Home
Philippians 3:20, "For our citizenship/colony is in heaven …"
"Home isn't pretty, ain't no home for me" -Blue Oyster Cult
Believe it or not, over the next month, the most single, semi-annual, unifying event on earth is taking place. It is called the World Cup and the game is called football, we call it soccer here. For those of you who do not realize the significance around the world of this event, I will try elaborate. In most major cities, during game times (any team could be playing), you will be unable to get a cab. They will all say, "off duty". Saturday night over 100 people were arrested in Marseille, France as fans from England and Tunisia clashed and caused a small riot. Last night there was a second riot. The two teams meet today, June 15. Neither team has even played a game yet.
Passion! And not always passion that is healthy, but certainly passion. In the '94 World Cup a defender allowed a goal that cost his team the game. Within hours of returning to his home country, in his home town, he was murdered. I had the privilege of watching some of the '94 World Cup with some friends from Scotland. Try talking during the game, you will be asked politely, once, to be quiet. The second request for quiet will include a strong suggestion that you leave the room.
It is national pride at its height and it is a wonderful lesson for the Christian. These fans exude a taste of the passion we should feel for our home country. Our citizenship is in heaven. But, where is our passion? Our passions so often focus on the country we are visiting, earth. Our time here is short, in fact, in the light of eternity, it is but a breath (Job 7:16). After our breath is out, we will retire to our home country, and wouldn't it be nice to have been living all along as if we were citizens of heaven and not our alien, temporary home.
Sure, in many ways it doesn't seem like we are aliens here, we probably feel quite at home here. Let me suggest that it is never good to get too comfortable. The Bible states rather clearly that we are here as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20, Ephesians 6:20), representing heaven and the ruler of heaven to this world. This is our truest occupation.
Enjoy the World Cup if you can. As you watch a game, look at the passion on the faces of the fans while the game is still close, then look at the pain and dejection on the faces of the losing team and their fans, the joy of the winning team, and seek for such passion in your representation of your real homeland.
"Christians are not citizens of earth trying to get to heaven, but citizens of heaven making their way through this world." Vance Havner
Soli Deo Gloria,