Day 29: Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
This vision of a new heaven and new earth coming together as one is among the most hopeful pictures that the Bible gives us. Imagine a city in which God is mayor. There is no church or temple in this city, because the city hall is God’s throne room. The courthouse is a place of mercy and justice. The Civic Center is a hall of worship. The streets are his courts of praise. Homes are outposts of his fellowship and peace.
I don’t completely understand the logistics of a city that would operate without the threat of sin and tyranny. Without such a threat, there would be no need for an armed police force, trash service, or a jail. This city might seem to us to be idealistic or unrealistic, something like a fairy tale. Regardless of how dreamlike this city might seem, this place is a biblical reality. The Bible begins with the story of such a place called the Garden of Eden. Here, Revelation ends with such a place called the New Jerusalem.
Regardless of our own personal thoughts and ideas about the possibility of these alternative realities, I believe that this vision of a heavenly city ought to be the singular most compelling vision that we as the people of God live towards. Ultimately, this vision is our eschatology or our future hope. God is making all things new. His city is coming from heaven to Earth. This is what Jesus meant when he proclaimed, “The kingdom of heaven is near.”
Jonathan Burkey | Worship Pastor