Going Deeper 5-23-19

‚ÄčThe second reading for Easter 6...
Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5   And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. ... I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.  Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.  People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.  But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city.  On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.  Nothing accursed will be found there any more.  But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

In the end, things will be like they were in the beginning.  Just as the creation narrative spoke of light and of rivers and of the tree of life, the culminating vision of the Revelation uses the very same images to describe the eternal dwelling place of God and of His people.  Restored humanity will dwell in community in the presence of their Creator.   And they will live happily ever after.

The vision speaks of "healing of the nations" and states that the restored world will walk by the light of the eternal city of God.  God's promise to Abraham was that through his descendants all of the nations of the world would be blessed.  This healing was brought about by "the Lamb."  Jesus was the "Lamb of God" whose blood took away "the sins of the world."  Through Him all of the nations of the world have been-- and eternally will be-- blessed.

While this vision provides a glimpse of the eternal glory that awaits us, we should not see it as only something to be anticipated.  We must not fall into the mold of the kind of Christians who have been critically described as "being so heavenly-minded that they are of no earthly use."  God's desire is that His Kingdom comes to the here and now, and that His children be involved in the restoration process... the restoration of their own lives and the restoration of the world.  God's design was a world living in community, where each person lives for the other as all live for God.

In other words, we have a lot of work to do!

With You in His Service,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."