One of the great lessons I’ve carried from NT Wright is to see heaven and earth in a far different relationship than what I believed growing up. Heaven is not “up there” and earth is not “down here.” They are two different dimensions of God’s good creation.
Jesus is King. Not just in heaven. On earth. Heaven is as close as the next room. At any moment the King could come through the door and be present. It is that real. Jesus is King.
Yes, the world is a mess. Yes, Jesus is King. That is the tension with which we live.
NT Wright gave this beautiful description of how we live in that tension in his book Surprised by Hope:
“The Kingdom will come as the Church, energized by the Spirit, goes out into the world vulnerable, suffering, praising, misunderstood, misjudges, vindicated, celebrating; always — as Paul puts it in one of his letters — bearing in the body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed.” (p. 112)
How I love that beautiful description.