Cookies and milk, peanut butter and jelly, ketchup and mustard, bread and butter, salt and pepper, peaches and cream, fish and chips, hide and seek, jeans and T-shirts, cat and mouse, Batman and Robin, Laverne and Shirley, Bert and Ernie, Cagney and Lacey, Laurel and Hardy, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber, B.T. and Ellen Roberts, pencil and paper, horse and carriage, war and peace, fire and smoke, hug and kiss, lock and key, left and right, crime and punishment, creation and destruction, night and day, heaven and earth.
Where there is one, the other must exist. The book of Genesis opens with contrasting and distinct pairs. Often, one necessitates the other as a result or consequence. God spoke, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Then God separated light from the darkness (1:4). God spoke man and woman into creation (1:26–27). Vice versa, conversely, inversely and contrariwise, meaning: one cannot be without the other. This is how heaven and earth are to be contemplated.
When God first began creation, heaven and earth were within the same sovereign state. In fact, the garden itself was the abode of God. This place was designed for Him to engage with the pinnacle of His creation, humans. Then, it happens again, the Rise and the Fall. Perfection was flawed. Closeness met with distance. As a result of the Fall, our direct access to the Father was severed.
Then again, God gifted yet another pairing, Father and Son. Access to the Father became possible solely through the Son. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Everywhere on earth that Jesus came to, he brought samples of a life where heaven on earth is the reality. In the Lord’s Prayer, Christ says, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
We frequently become overwhelmed by the challenge of seeing how to bring heaven’s perfection to earth’s reality. We often don’t see how unlocking micro-decisions can lead to macro-outcomes to unite heaven and earth.
Moses told the Israelites, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life” (Deuteronomy 30:19–20). Are you making choices that will bring heavenly blessings to you and the people around you?
This issue of Light + Life is full of examples and expressions of heaven and earth overlapping. The rich and rigorous articles in this issue will bring fresh challenges to your faith. These articles include blueprints of modern-day gardens that bring a beacon of light in a dark place, stories of brokenness brought back to completeness by breaking down a billion-dollar cybersex trafficking industry, and the cost of consuming a meal lined with eternal effects. In addition to reading this month’s articles, don’t forget to visit lightandlifemagazine.com and click “STUDY GUIDE” for our Illuminate online discipleship material that includes discussion questions and links to Bible passages that explore the relationship between heaven and earth.
This issue also continues Light + Life’s preview of the 2019 General Conference of the Free Methodist Church – USA that will be held July 16–19 at the Caribe Royale Convention Center in Orlando. We will engage in current issues we face as the church and resource every leader with networking and takeaways. The topics we preview in this issue include global transformation, engaging our culture, ethnic/racial reconciliation, and justice matters. Our church is uniquely positioned to help heal the world through the divine partnership we have in Jesus. We encourage you to prayerfully consider joining us in celebration and resourcing the mission and vision of the church this July in Florida during GC19 (gc19.org).
Jay Cordova is a Free Methodist elder who also has worked as a startup business entrepreneur and coached small businesses. Jeff Finley is the executive editor of Light + Life, which he joined in 2011 after working as a reporter and editor for Sun-Times Media.1