Inheritance In the Saintsby George MacDonald and Dale Howie
The Inheritance is the final sermon of the “Unspoken Sermons” series and a true reflection and summary of MacDonald’s thoughts. Abba, our Heavenly Father, is the beginning and end and everything in between.
If we have not found the first light of heaven in our relationship with our Father, Brother, and Teacher, heaven will be Hell for us! Because Heaven will be continuous fellowship with God! What we receive in the end is Them and what They always wanted from eternity past was Us!
“Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:12 NASB
The Inheritance is God Himself
MacDonald did not care to persuade anyone that heaven was a place worth going, some mansion in the sky. However, he would convince us that no home in the Universe, no time in the future, is worth anything if we remain as we are! Whatever Heaven is, it is not filled with THINGS. It is filled with people! Heaven is eternal fellowship with God, and He is big enough to spend that eternity with you and me individually! The following is perhaps one of the most beautiful stories in all of his writings.
The Kite Story Alone
Alone…However, what boy, willing to be a disciple of Christ and a child of God, would prefer a sermon to his glorious kite.
Together…A kite is the most divine of toys, and with God, Himself as his playmate, watching it together in the blue wind, tossed hither and thither in the golden sky!
Others…He might be willing to part with his kite, the wind, and the golden sun and go down into the grave for his brothers, but surely not to be admitted to an eternal prayer meeting! For my part, I rejoice to think that there will be neither church nor chapel in the heavenlies. Yes, there will be nothing of religion but its Love and no law but the perfect Law of Liberty.
There is no need for law or religious practice where every heartbeat expresses the Divine, where selfishness is too revolting to be considered, and every voice is eager with thanksgiving! Where the rushing of these joyful waters is bursting from beneath the throne of God, they being the joyful tears of the Universe! Religion! Where will there be room for it, where the essence of every thought is the Divine?
What place for honesty, where love fulfills the law to overflowing! Here a person would rather dive into hell than wrong his neighbor in the smallest way! (paraphrase)
Much of our journey can be understood through this simple progression, Alone, Together, and Others!
Heaven as Sharing
What MacDonald is trying to say is that everything comes from God. Therefore, our inheritance, whatever form it will take, will be Him, for everything is His and comes from Him. Creation began with the Father, Son, and Spirit’s relationship, and everything will end inside that relationship. Theirs is a Life of giving, and this Life and is the only life worth having!
So, our share in the Kingdom of Heaven is not what we get but what we can give away. What is truly mine is only what I have received and have the power and desire to give away. What I cannot share with everyone is not Life!
INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS / For MacDonald, our inheritance is relational, not material. And our share in it is expressed in giving. This thought reflects the nature of creation as the expression of the Trinity’s relationship, shared love, and subsequent giving of Life. This process is consistent with the continuation of our transformation from takers to givers!
GOD IS OUR INHERITANCE / How else could it be? How everything begins is how it ends. They wanted to share Themselves, Their Life, with us. So, when Life has gone full circle, what we will receive is Them!
THE MEANING OF SHARE / Again, what else would make any sense? The Father, Son, and Spirit sacrifice Themselves, withholding nothing of Their Life from us. They have given away all that They are and all that They have for Their creation! Would this giving not define everything for us as well?
HEAVEN IS GOD HIMSELF / This section is the theme of the sermon and reflects Abba, Father! and The Child in the Mist on relationship as the Divine’s Irreducible Truth! Heaven is not an escape from life, but the family, the Home, we were destined for from the beginning.
The Kite Story paints a beautiful image of our journey, one movement from Alone, Together, and to Others! This path is the journey of consciousness. Our ever-expanding Universe until all is One and all is Love! Therefore, this Life is simple goodness, as good as the very Life of God is good, filled with the joy of our very being!
THE HELL OF THINGS / If we do not care about relationships, then we are left with Things! If heaven for us is about Things, then God’s Heaven will be Hell! Without the fellowship and communion of the Father, Son, and Spirit, there could be no Heaven!
THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE / Relationships are dynamic, not static. They are ever-changing. Heaven is not instant attainment of perfect Love. If we have learned the joy of repentance in this life? We will continue to experience that ever-increasing joy in the next. Heaven is the joy of a true heart, of an heir of Light, of a child of God, who desires and loves an open soul!
HOME / It was Home that ended CHILD at the beginning and it is Home that ends the book here. For all of creation in all of its glory and beauty is but a taste of Heaven. For here is not our Home. Home is where the heart is, and that Heart resides within the One who is our Heavenly Father!
This article, Inheritance, is a paraphrasing of George MacDonald’s final sermon from the Unspoken Sermon series written by Dale Howie.