HEAVEN


HEAVEN is the place of God's throne beyond time and space. It is the abode of God's angels, as well as of the saints who have passed from this life. We pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven . . ." Though Christians live in this world, they belong to the Kingdom of heaven, and that Kingdom is their true home. But heaven is not only for the future. Neither is it some distant place billions of light years away in a nebulous "great beyond." For the Orthodox, heaven is part of Christian life and worship. The very architecture of an Orthodox church building is designed so that the build­ing itself participates in the reality of heaven. The Eucharist is heavenly worship, heaven on earth. Saint Paul teaches we are raised up with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), "fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19). At the end of the age, a new heaven and a new earth will be revealed (Revelation 21:1).