“You are citizens of heaven…” Paul’s Letter to the Church in Philipi
For a Roman citizen, citizenship was not about longing to go back to Rome. Rather, citizenship was about carrying the values, culture, and ethos of Rome with you. Where a citizen was, there Rome was too.
So Paul was not telling the Philippians to look forward to going to heaven when they die. Rather, it was a reminder of their allegiance to God’s Kingdom and a call to carry the values of Heaven with them wherever they go.
Therefore, since Christians know that in heaven trans kids are treated with respect and love, they—as citizens of heaven today—treat trans kids with love respect here on earth.
Therefore, since Christians know that that every victim of racism, sexism, ableism, and exploitation will be granted reparations in the new heavens and new earth, citizens of heaven begin that work of reparation today.
Therefore, since Christians know that every weapon of violence will be melted down in the new creation, citizens of heaven begin that melting process today.
A citizen of heaven looks at the courts of earth’s empires with suspicion and distrust.
A citizen of heaven’s allegiance is to God’s Kingdom alone. Pledging allegiance to any other empire or nation would be unthinkable.
A citizen of heaven looks at claims of independence as laughable. All empires rely on the same damned tools of violence and exploitation to maintain control.
A citizen of heaven looks to do God’s will wherever they go, on earth as it is in heaven.
Every gathering of heaven’s citizens is a “colony of heaven in a culture of death.” Every church, an outpost of justice in a land of oppression.
Christians, don’t forget. You are citizens of heaven.