October 12, 2018

The Holy City

Revelation 21:9-27

The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. . . . The city does not need the sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light. . . .

—  Revelation 21:21-23

I took some friends on an old taxi driver’s tour of New York City. We enjoyed breakfast at my favorite “greasy spoon,” plunged into the subway, ferried to the Statue of Liberty, walked Wall Street and Times Square, strolled Broadway and the theater district, sat quietly in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and stood in awe on the 100th-floor balcony of a skyscraper, taking in a panoramic view of the city. They pronounced it “an exciting place to live.”

But I didn’t show them the ­places where I’d been mugged, the kinds of places that the singer Michael Card calls “doorways darkened by despair.”

The picture Revelation draws of the New Jerusalem is beautiful, exciting, and full of diversity. The nations stream into it from across the earth. And the Holy City has no dark side. It has no intractable injustice, simmering racial hatred, porn shops, unemployment lines, broken family relationships, potholes, or trash. Because God is there, the city is full of goodness and light; evil has no place to hide.

This vision offers an invitation and a warning. In the Holy City, God will be with us, and all nations will be brought to Christ in harmony. Yet “nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful.”

Are you looking forward to the day when we can live there in peace and harmony with God?

Lord, we long for the beauty of life in the Holy City. Bring us to live with you there forever. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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