When I realized that the word ‘salvation’ essentially means wholeness (not ‘going to heaven’), a bright light came on in my soul. I have been doing my best to walk in that light ever since, and because it is a journey into God (Who is Infinite), I realize it is a never-ending journey.
As wholeness, salvation means God is in the process of “whole making.”  From Genesis 3 onward, this is the essence of God’s presence and activity in the world. We have typically referred to it with the theological words restoration, redemption, and renewal. But regardless of the specific word, salvation is about repairing the breach, gathering the fragments, rebuilding the bridge, and other metaphors that point to personal, communal, and cosmic wholeness–what the Bible comes to call “a new creation.”
To understand salvation as wholeness is to recognize the substance of it in the word ‘covenant,’ meant to return any and all from the land of Nod (Wandering) to the family of God. God launched this in the garden of Eden by sewing garments to cover Adam and Eve’d shame (Genesis 3:7) and made it even more concrete with Noah (Genesis 9). From then on, the Old Testament unfolds the covenant-making God at work in and beyond the Jews (Deuteronomy 4:19)–a comprehensive whole-making process aimed at one word: Life (Deuteronomy 4:1).
In the incarnation, the Word was made flesh (John 1:14) and in Jesus we see the whole-making (salvation) process at work on every page of the gospels, reaching its apex on the cross where the ultimate whole-making (at-one-ment) occurred. And in the post incarnate Christ, whole-making continues in the word ‘reconciliation,’ as he reconciles all things to himself (Colossians 1:17). All this is part of the ultimate, cosmic whole-making plan of God “for the climax of all times; to bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with with the things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). This is the meaning of “the new creation” which eventually comes to be called “the new heaven and the new earth” in the Book of Revelation. This is the grand revelation of the Bible: comprehensive, cosmic whole-making!
I first saw this in the writing of E. Stanley Jones, particularly in his book, ‘The Way.’ Published in 1946, Jones gathered up nearly thirty years of missionary ministry insights and wrote a classic piece in which he noted the fragmentation of life and the need to recover a sense of wholeness–a wholeness he saw in the Way (of Christ, incarnated in Jesus), a Way that is “the Way for everyone and everybody, everywhere and in every circumstance.”  Supreme wholeness!
But we must not allow the grandeur of the vision to prevent us from realizing that whole-making is not something in the future, it is fundamentally a here-and-now reality. “TODAY is the day of salvation”–of whole-making (2 Corinthians 6:2). Jesus said he came to give us abundant life right here on earth (John10;10). Grace is God’s precious gift and generous offer right now. God is ready and willing to save us (make us whole in spirit, soul, and body) this very minute, and the God who has begun this good work in us (here and now) will bring it to completion (fulfillment) at the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). No doubt about it!
 Ilia Delio’s book, ‘The Emergent Christ (Orbis Books, 2011) unfolds the notion of salvation as whole-making in a compelling way.
 E. Stanley Jones, ‘The Way’ (Abingdon Press, 1946), v.