At this morning’s sermon, Father Andrew talked about the recent “Rebuilding Together” event where St Mary volunteers got together to do some needed repairs and other work on the home of a couple who could no longer manage the upkeep on their own. In addition to this being an excellent way to give back to our community and help those in need, Father Andrew also said this was a way for all of us to get closer to heaven. He closed with a quote from C.S. Lewis, to the effect that “if you strive for heaven, you will get earth in the deal. But if you strive only for earth, you will probably get nothing.”
I had some trouble absorbing this message at first, probably because it seemed so ambitious and out of reach to me—aiming for heaven seemed to ask too much of me. Why couldn’t I just pursue my own agenda here on earth and not always be challenged to do more and aim higher? After thinking about this some more, however, I felt that maybe I was making this too difficult—
The work of earth and the work of heaven is so heavily intermingled that we do aim for heaven, often without knowing it. When we visit a sick friend—or a stranger—or when we donate a meal to a family in need or when we help repair and restore a house—we are doing a little bit of God’s work here on earth. As the Bible says, God’s work must truly be our own.
- How do we know when we are doing God’s work here on earth?
- What will you do the next time you are offered the opportunity to do God’s work?
- What is an example of you doing the work of heaven?