[The angel] showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
Cities can be challenging places to live. In concentrated urban centers, the problems of humankind are concentrated and plain to see. In the past few years in particular, unrest in cities around the world has drawn attention to our brokenness. In the heart of metropolitan areas we find poverty, racism, violence, and injustice.
Yet remarkably, when John has a vision of heaven, he sees a perfected city, coming down from heaven to earth. It’s a city of immense beauty; precious stones and metals make up the foundation, walls, and infrastructure of this stunning reality. Many scholars have compared this new Jerusalem, so carefully drawn out by John, to a perfected Holy of Holies. In the Old Testament, the Most Holy Place in the temple in Jerusalem was where God came to dwell and be literally present among his people. In John’s vision the entire city is where God’s presence dwells.
One day every area of created life will be fully and completely lived out in the presence of God: art, science, commerce, technology, agriculture, and so much more will all be present in the eternal city of God.
Let us work fervently, then, as we await the day when all aspects of life in this world will reach their full potential in the radiating presence of God.
Eternal God, we can only imagine what it will be like when your glorious presence radiates through every nook and cranny of your created world. Empower us to labor each day in the hope of the world to come. Amen.
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