For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling.
2 Corinthians 5:1-2
They were two excited little boys eagerly tearing into their presents that Christmas morning. Along with G. I. Joe action figures and Big Wheels our sons were jazzed to get a camping tent. I have good memories of pounding the tent pegs into the ground in our back yard that night and of raising the tent for a night in the wilds of suburbia. After steaming hot chocolate and grabbing s’mores from the kitchen, we snuggled in for the night. But then the temperature started dropping, the night started feeling darker, and the three of us thought our beds in the house a great idea. We raced from the tent into the security of our house.
With that Christmas night in mind, I get the language of the apostle Paul in today’s scripture about leaving the tents of our earthly bodies to enter “a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” While I might think that life here is really living, it cannot compare to the life awaiting me in God’s eternal house!
I read today’s text about our earthly tents and remember that Paul was a tentmaker and knew quite a lot about tents. On his missionary journeys, Paul would have sometimes slept in tents and experienced blasts of wind, leaving him looking up at the stars. Paul’s comparing our brief life in these bodies to life in a tent rings true. Life in a tent can be good and meaningful, but nothing like entering our eternal home. My body feels its fragile impermanence. I sense the fabric of my existence wearing and the ropes going slack.
Notably, Paul calls our bodies “earthly”, recalling God forming Adam from dust and declaring to Adam’s descendants, “You are dust, and to dust, you shall return” (Genesis 3:19b). Paul uses a Greek word likening the aging and wearing out of our bodies to “taking down” a tent. Our tents go down and joyfully we enter our eternal home.
It seems that in life there are increasingly many things I do not know, but here is something I know for sure: the best is yet to be! There is reserved for me “a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” There, and only there, will I finally be Home! Forever!
PLANT A THOUGHT… Repeat, Tell, Write, Create
A Fellow Traveler,