There are many things that Maz and I enjoy doing together and there are a few things that she is happy that I do with others; going camping in tents is one of those things. We have been 'tenting' together with and without our kids but for Maz, its just not much fun; she likes the more permanent alternative of a stable building and comfortable bed and lets face it, we probably all prefer that too, long term. In the reading today Paul compares the image of a temporary 'tent' and stable 'house'. In my youth ministry days, I took a group of teenagers on a two day one night hike in Cathedral ranges. As we started out the weather deteriorated, the wind picked up and the rain came down and down and down. So much went wrong but for most of us it was still fun. We had a couple of youth however who failed to appreciate the 'joy' of the community time, especially when in the middle of the night their tent literally was blown apart and away leaving them in the middle of the storm wet and cold. Those three bundled into another tent but failed to actually get much sleep. They had an experience of their 'tent being destroyed' but did not have a heavenly home to move into.
Set within the broader context of Paul's discussion about the the effects of life upon the physical human body and the inevitable decay that comes as the body breaks down, Paul rejoices that there is a new body that awaits those who are in Christ. The resurrection body that he wrote about in his first letter is what he now reminds them of in this letter. This resurrection body is not made of human hands but fashioned by the Creator God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This new 'body' is waiting for us, secure in the heavenly realm, until the day when Christ will raise the dead and change those who are still alive, so that we experience the new resurrected body. The 'house' he speaks of is not a place in heaven, its a new body, provided for us from the heavenly realm (the realm of God's rule and reign).
As well as the assurance we have from God, as to the promise of the resurrected body, we also have the reassurance that the Holy Spirit is within us as we live in this present body. The Spirit is the deposit guaranteeing what is to come (vs 5) The encouragement we have therefore, from Paul as he concludes this section, is that we will make it our goal to please the Lord (vs 9) either in this life in our present body or away from it (in the resurrected body). Its a strange type of assurance actually, yet still very assuring. We belong to the Lord regardless of what we experience and where we are. As you move into this new day, whatever it is that you are confronted by, how might you 'live into' this great promise and willingly embrace what this day brings in the knowledge that nothing actually separates you from God?