Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trusting in not understanding

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Where is Heaven?

The other day, we saw Jesus ascend to the Father in Glory, and we stood and looked as He was taken up before the clouds hid Him from view. Now we know that He sits with the Father in Heaven. It follows that Heaven must be up there somewhere. So why can’t we get there in a rocket?

Does it really make sense to say that Jesus is “up there somewhere”? Is Heaven on another planet? Or are we missing the point? Jesus says to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not; how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”

God is with us as we are formed in the womb. He knows us all intimately, each one of us in every time and place. If God is everywhere, then how can He be confined to another planet? If we’re saying things like “Heaven is up there, somewhere” then we’re usually just being figurative and not literal in saying where Heaven is. Do we know where Heaven is?

No. Not really. The trouble with asking questions about God is that we often lose our understanding of how things work. But that’s okay. We don’t have to understand; we just have to believe!


There will be those who accuse us of being like Alice who was asked to believe six impossible things before breakfast. They will say that if we don’t understand what we believe, then we might just as well believe anything such as God being a flying spaghetti monster. If we don’t understand what we believe, then we must be the most gullible people in the world.

How do we answer this?


We may not understand God, but there are things that we do know about Him. We know that He is not a spaghetti monster because how could such a god exist before spaghetti was created. Such a god would go against the findings of modern Science which says that there was a time when there was no spaghetti. In fact there was a time when there was nothing.

We know that God is the Father: the Old Testament speaks of that, as does Jesus. How does the Lord’s Prayer start? We know that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is to be worshipped. We know that the Holy Ghost speaks to us, inspires us, and is also to be worshipped. We know that they are different, and yet we know that there is only one God. Do we understand how this can be? No? Do we believe it? Yes!

A god that is completely understandable is no god at all, much less one that could create the Universe. The fact that we believe in God Who is bigger than we can know should be the greatest comfort to us. This is a God who can bring us into Heaven in the Spirit, just as He does St John where we can see confusing, wild, extraordinary, even frightening glimpses into His reality. He shows us little peeps behind the veil of our existence into His. He knows that we have trouble understanding Him. That’s okay. He just wants us to believe Him, and trust Him so that eventually we know Him and thus know even as we are known. We don’t prove the existence of a new friend by mathematics before we shake her hand. We shake her hand first, and that’s enough!


God doesn’t want to know Him as a thing. He wants us to know Him as He really is, and that means seeking Him out in our lives. Even our little attempts will be rewarded as He blesses us richly, Father Son, and Holy Spirit.

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