Moving home but staying in the same location

We moved house – 2 miles across Oxford – into a lovely home not far from the banks of the river Cherwell in North Oxford.

I have never moved house but stayed in the same location.  Transforming all one’s personal effects and making home in a new house is a major upheaval and requires quite a lot of concerted effort (see previous post on this!).   It is exciting.  We have a bit more space, an extra shower room (to allow teenage girls to wash their hair without me pulling out mine!) in a nice community.

But it has also been a rather odd experience.  I have never moved house but simultaneously stayed in the same location.  We still live in Oxford; we go to the same shops, bump into the same neighbours and friends, do the same job.  In the past, a house move has invovled a new town, a new job, a new area.

This odd emotional sensation has got me thinking about being “in but not of the world”.  When I first became a Christian heaven was very real to me.  My favourite verse in the bible is “for me to live is Christ; to die is gain” (Philipians 1:21).   And, as a new Christian, I guess I tended to emphasise the latter rather than the former part of that verse.

However the odd sensation that is geniune Christian experience is that we have a new heavenly home but we reside in the same old location, here on earth.  Christian life is both: heavenly orientation, but also very ordinary.  We still live here on this earth, but now have to be a Christ-transforming reality in our new location. 

Heaven is our home, but earth is our current location.  I think we should be just realistic about the ordinariness of living for Christ in this world as we are excited about the prospect or our heavenly home.

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