WHAT does heaven on earth look like?

My February article described God’s spirit, poured out on all flesh at Pentecost, celebrating the new life that follows death, burial and resurrection.

Jesus was the blueprint for God’s all inclusive, all loving, all forgiving community. So in essence, heaven is when this type of community is formed: community that sees the Divine in all.

Therefore: when anyone loves, God who is love, is being made manifest in and through them.

When anyone forgives, God - who forgives as he is nailed to a cross - is being made manifest.

When anyone shows compassion - for the poor, the immigrant, the widow, the outcast - Jesus is ministering through them.

When anyone exhibits joy and peace and loving-kindness, God the Spirit is made manifest.

When authentic community is enjoyed, we reflect and participate in the Triune community of Father, Son and Spirit.

May we follow the cruciform pattern of Jesus: see God with Jesus’s eyes; love the outcast, forgive our enemies, and honour the Spirit, poured out on all flesh, as Jesus did. The Kingdom of Heaven is ushered in thus - on Earth!

My journey out of dualistic, fundamentalist religion - with a them and us, either or, in out, heaven hell paradigm - followed encountering Jesus in a Hindu man, and was greatly aided by the early female mystics Theresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen and Julian of Norwich, plus contemporaries - Richard Rohr, Andre Rabe, Baxter Kruger, Francois du Toit, Rene Gerard, Paul Young, and others.

Perhaps we'll explore their contributions to encountering the Spirit of God in All, later this year. Namaste!

Irm Hollenbach, Windermere Community