Heaven – Transcendence and Closeness
Heaven – Transcendence and Closeness
Session Two taken from chapter two and three of the book 'Heaven' by Paula Gooder.

In the book ‘Heaven’, Paula Gooder considers the ways in which the Bible sees heaven and earth connecting, and explores all the major strands of belief about life after death, including the role of paradise, and what happens between death and resurrection. She shows how the biblical writers see heaven and earth as closely connected, so that what happens in heaven affects events on earth and vice versa. This is session two of five.

In this session you will consider ideas of God’s transcendence and enthronement before centring in on Jesus’ transcendence. We will also explore the idea of ‘thin places’.

Opening Discussion

Start the session relaxing as a group. You may want to encourage participants to get a hot drink and chat about the events of the week.

For this session use the opening questions below to start off the discussion.


Watch the below video about God’s enthronement, summarising some of the rich Old Testament imagery and concluding on the idea of how God wants to be close to His people.

Give the group chance to reflect on the content of the video and look up some of the Old Testament passages. For example:

Bible Reading – John 1

Ask participants to take it in turns to read out this passage. Hearing it spoken aloud rather than just reading to oneself can give a new perspective of a passage especially in light of what has just been taught on the video.

Reflection and Discussion

Now you have heard the ideas and read the scripture it is time to reflect on what has been said and pull out the group’s initial thoughts and feelings about the topic. In a group, such as this one, there are no wrong or right answers. This is a time for participants to share what the ideas mean to them and how they might change or reinforce a personal conviction.

Some discussion points are: