“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” -2 Corinthians 5:9
In 1987, the British artist Sting released the song “Englishman in New York”. The song refers to being a legal alien living in New York. When I heard this song years ago, I connected with the lyrics because I’ve had the experience of being a legal alien in England, then later in the United States. I describe my experience as an expatriate living in foreign nations, similar to the departure of the Israelites out of the land of Egypt; They were to eat their meal in haste, with shoes on their feet, and their staff in hand, ready to leave Egypt (Exodus 12:11). I’m never home; regardless of where I live, I always have that unsettling feeling that it’s just temporary.
Our Christians walk is a pilgrimage. God called Abraham to exchange the security of his home in Ur, for life as an alien, dwelling in tents (Hebrews 11:9). Sometimes we find ourselves so consumed by, and overly attached to earthly things, that God has to –painfully strip away the things that steal our affections from Him. The Bible admonishes us to “live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear”.- 1 Peter 1:17.
As pilgrims, we do not lay-up treasures here on earth, neither do we seek to be fulfilled by the temporary pleasures this life; but instead like Abraham, we are to be “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11: 10).