This week’s message is the second half of last week’s message; so, if you haven’t read my summary of last week’s message, please read it right now — and then, read this.

[Click here for last week’s summary]

At the start of this message, I shared the home movie that I shared in the last message. You see, I videotaped the whole thing — or I should say, “part of the whole thing.” I had the camera running when I began the pre-arranged dialogue with the pastor in Junction City as we sat on the steps of the house I grew up in across from the park. I wanted to capture the moment on film — the magic moment, when my kids would be overwhelmed with joy and cry out, “We’re going to the Magic Kingdom! We’re going to Disney World! I love you, Daddy!” But . . . they did not.

Susan asked, “Don’t you want to go to Disneyworld?”
John said, “I’ll think about it.”
Elizabeth said, “I’d rather stay here.”

We put the mouse ears on their heads. We danced around singing. But they did not dance or sing. They whined, “But what about Junction City?”

At that point I shut off the camera and said, “Get in the van.”
Coleman pumped his little fists and said, “Shoot, I wanted to go to the park.”
Becky whined, “I don’t want to get in the van.”
And I said, “Just get in the van.” And as I was walking around the back of the van, I think our Father in Heaven said something to me.

I absolutely love that video. I could watch it a million times. And yet, it hurts a bit every time, for I think, “Those moments are all in the past.” It probably hurts folks in our worship service now, for they think, “Nice family. But couldn’t we watch something else; it’s not my family; I can’t live your life and you can’t live my life.”

I absolutely love that video. And yet, at the time, I hated it — that’s why I shut off the video camera; it wasn’t matching my expectations.

We had a wonderful time in Disney World, but it did get old, and we got grumpy. It’s surprising, but my kids never seemed interested in going back. However, they still love to reminisce about our time in the van. Faith, Hope, and Love grow on the journey. Faith, Hope, and Love are what make the Magic Kingdom “magic.” My kids, now 29, 32, 34, and 35, miss the Magic Kingdom in the van. It seems that the entire Journey, “The Kingdom was at hand.”

In 1 Peter 3:18-4:6, Peter reminds us of several journeys (Noah in an Ark journeying to a new world, Israel with the Ark journeying to a new age, and Jesus who is the Ark journeying from Hades to Heaven).

In 1 Peter 4:7, he writes, “The End of all things is at hand….”

Some people think that chronological time just goes on forever without end, in which case everything will get infinitely old and boring. Some people think that if the end is the beginning, then time must move in a circle, in which case everything will get infinitely repetitive and boring. Jesus said, “I am the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13) and “I am the Way” (John 14:6), in which case, the line (time without end), that turned into a circle (time with one end and beginning), now collapses into a singularity (all of time in one point).

In the 20th century, scientists said, “This is weird, but it appears that everything that’s anything came from a singularity (We call it “the Big Bang.”) And, even weirder, there’s something like it in every person that determines the state of matter which we thought was everything that’s anything (We call it “the observer.”) I suspect that the Bible calls those things “God” and “the breath of God.”

“Modern Christians” have stopped believing the Bible because of 19th century science, and because of religious people who say “But . . . Hell; there is no End to all things, for some things have to be tortured forever without End (without Jesus).”

But what if we believed Scripture?

“Time does not exist apart from eternity’s embrace,” writes Karl Barth. “Eternity embraces time on all sides, preceding, accompanying, and fulfilling it. To say that God is eternal means that God is “the One who is and rules before time, in time, and again after time; the One who is not conditions by time, but conditions it absolutely in his freedom.”

If we take Scripture seriously, we must picture all of chronological time as six days, or eons (aion in Greek), on a timeline, surrounded by a bunch of sevens that are eternal (aionios in Greek). At the end of the sixth day and the edge of the seventh, there is a tree in a garden on which Jesus cries, “Tetelesthai: it is the telos, the End.” We live in time with eternity in our hearts. And the timeline upon which we move is immersed in an Eternity that is always Now — “In him we live and move and have our being.”

If the End is the Beginning and the Way, then in reality, there is no separation in space or time. If there is no separation in space, then no one is ever — in reality — alone. And if there is no separation in time, then — in reality — nothing ever gets old, and everything is new. Shame can only exist on the timeline, for it is what I feel when I judge “me” in the past. Fear can only exist on the timeline, for it is what I feel when I imagine “me” in the future. Both are Pride, my judgment of my “self.”

My first memory is of a moment in Junction City. My mother said, “Don’t pull on the wallpaper (it was peeling off of the wall).” And I suddenly wanted to pull on the wallpaper. And then I did. And then I remember judging myself, separated from myself, and from my mother. I was conscious of “me,” alone. I had begun a journey, and everything started getting old.

If the End is the Beginning and the Way, then I — in reality — am a thing that has always been done, and I alone can do nothing (Ecc. 3:14). “Apart from me, you can do nothing,” said Jesus. “In him, I can do all things,” wrote Paul. Maybe Jesus really is the Van.

I used to let my daughter sit on my lap and hold the steering wheel as I drove our van to the mailbox. She’d run into the house yelling, “Mommy I drove the van.” Susan would say, “Peter, is that true?” I’d smile and say “YES!”

“Were you there, Job, when I laid the foundation of the earth?” asks God. I suspect that the correct answer is “Yes, I was in Jesus, sitting on your lap.” Worried about his past and anxious for his future, Job must’ve forgotten and concluded that he was forsaken. But sitting on God’s lap and creating reality would be willing all things in freedom — a truly free will.

“The Telos (Completion, Perfection, End) of all things is at hand.” It was in the Ark with Noah. It was in the Holy of Holies with Israel. And it’s in you, if in fact you are His Temple. And everything is in his hands. My experience of spacetime must be my inability to perceive eternity. . . “at hand.”

If you only existed on a timeline, you’d be entirely one dimensional. If you only existed in two dimensions, you’d be a flatlander able to comprehend squares and circles, but you would struggle to even conceive of cubes and spheres. If one intersected your world, and I told you, “That’s a sphere,” you’d say, “Oh I get it; ‘sphere’ is a metaphor for ‘circles.'” And you’d be upside down.

What if God really is Love, we encounter him, and call him ‘dopamine, estrogen, or testosterone”?
What if Jesus really is the Truth, we encounter him, but just don’t get into him because we assume that he’s only a sentimental illusion?

If that’s the case, then we interact with reality all the time but are trapped in our own reality as if we were drunk. If that’s the case, perhaps we’re all asleep, dreaming a dream that has turned into a nightmare. When I wake from a nightmare, all the chaos is transformed by logos, and I say, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.”

What if the Spirit of Love and Truth is Eternal Life, and it flows through every member of the Van? Then in the van, I could live your life and you could live my life and we would all be living God’s Life.
What if the moment of emptying was always the moment of infilling? Then every moment would be an eternal communion in the fulness of joy. And everything that’s anything would be in the Van.

1 Peter 4:7, “The end of all things is at hand, THEREFORE wake up, get sober, and love each other relentlessly.”

As I was walking around the back of the van, I think the Lord said, “Hey Peter, now you know what it’s like for me — you know, being your Daddy.” I think he was saying, “Get in the van. You think you’re driving the van; I’m always driving the van and you’re sitting on my lap. Peter, you shut off the camera because it wasn’t going your way. What you perceived as a terrible moment was actually a magic moment. I never stop filming, for I’m giving all the moments to you — all the moments are magic moments. It’s all the magic kingdom. Get in the Van.”

The moment that I realized that I needed to get in the van was the moment that I realized I was in the van — I was home. And I laughed . . . with God.

Dorothy fell asleep in Kansas and woke up in Kansas… but everything old was now new.

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