As I move from my early twenties (that time of life when it is all life, all possibility) into my mid-twenties (that time of life when possibilities dry up and you are squeezed and funneled more and more into a point), I find the promise of the kingdom, of true citizenship, taking on a sudden poignancy.
I belong here less and less. I was not made to be judged by my production or my achievements. I was not made to be judged by my resume or how I carry myself physically. I was made to be, and to do only in the garden. There, I wouldn’t be seen through a lens of distrust; I would be seen as God’s child, a worker whose worthiness would never have been questioned. This is why I weep for us, for Eden.
To one who is homeless in spirit and at heart (if not yet physically, though doubtless that will come too), the promise of a kingdom in Luke 12:32 and of a city prepared for us in Hebrews 11:16 is the missing piece. This is not your average city, with its good neighborhoods and bad, its emphasis on commercialism and increasing the tax base. This city is true polis. This city glows.
And we don’t have to be afraid, because he has chosen to give it to us.
The universe is set up on give and take. You can’t live in a city, in a house, without it starting to live in you. Our relationship with God is even more consummate. In Ephesians 2:19 we inhabit. In 2:22, we are his temple; we are inhabited.
God gives us city, polis, the life of community in total. And, in total idiotic flipping-things-on-their-heads (always a sign of the strange logic of Christ), we, we broken disgusting sinners, become city, polis, the life of community in total, for God.
He put all things in subjection under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.
(Ephesians 1:22, 23)