We employ complex metaphors for complex truths
Lance Veydt is my buddy. He loves math, and I hate it. The more I hate math, the harder it is for Lance to continue calling me his friend. I wrote this letter for him and originally tried to use mathematical metaphors to explain the concepts therein, but my equations just didn’t add up.
I’ve always appreciated your need for clarity. You don’t like fuzzy arguments and half-baked ideas. You want to know what I mean and you want me to state it clearly. I respect that, and I’ll do everything I can to supply that clarity with almost mathematical precision.
Three metaphors dominate the biblical literature, each representing an aspect of God’s people living in God’s space according to God’s way. These metaphors—the City, the Kingdom, and Heaven—work in harmony to help us envision a reality we can’t quite see, understand, or comprehend in our finite humanity.
My fear is that, by calling them metaphors, you might misunderstand and think I mean they are only metaphors. Nothing could be further from the truth. These are complex realities, akin to quantum metaphysics, that can only be understood through their overlap. It’s probably fairest to say Heaven is the place where God’s Kingdom has been fully manifested, and yet a time will come when God’s Heavenly Kingdom is fully manifested everyplace as a City. There is a place where God’s presence and authority are obvious and dominant (heaven). Though we get partial access to that presence and authority as it breaks into our world (kingdom), there will come a time when our cooperation with God as co-creators results in God’s presence and authority being obvious and dominant everywhere (the City of God).
Now you know why I’m afraid to speak so plainly: I think I just took something mysterious and made it incomprehensible. (I tend to over-articulate the truth.)
When we live with an awareness that God is all around us, and that God has tasked us with healing the world, everything we do becomes holy. Our work is worship. Our thoughts are prayer. Our families are churches. Our churches are conclaves of God’s kingdom. Nothing we do can ever be reduced to mere activity. Everything we do is elevated into the presence of God.
Does that help? Is it easier to now understand my meaning, when I say everything we do matters?
Every. Single. Thing.
From writing a letter to reading a book, from solving a puzzle to puzzling out a solution.
Everything we do works in two directions: as an action we take in space and time, and as a metaphor for how we worship God.
 1 Corinthians 13.12.
 Colossians 3.23.
 1 Thessalonians 5.17.
 1 Corinthians 12.27.
 Luke 17.21.
 Revelation 8.4.