Saturday, October 11, 2008

A New Jerusalem

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. 2 And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband

We all have moments when we struggle with the way things are – and long for things to change: for example we have prayed for a renewed Zimbabwe; we long for better political leadership in our country; we seek new ways of managing international finance; and many of us want better physical and emotional health. As with the words of Revelation 21 vs 1 & 2: we wish to the first heaven and earth to disappear and for the New Jerusalem to become a reality.

But this is often a longing for that looks backwards – to the days when we imagine that things were simpler, and presumably better. We want a “Garden of Eden” that is less complicated than our present lives. But the image offered by Revelation looks forward and not back. It looks forward to a City, and not back to a Garden. It suggests an image of God being with us in the complexity, messiness and confusion of the city.

The Good News of our faith is that God is not “somewhere else” where life is tranquil and uncluttered. God is with us in the complications, the pressures and the disorganisation that is our life here on earth. And God “comes down out of heaven” to be with us. And God works alongside us like a husband with a bride in renewing the earth. God works in partnership with human beings as we struggle to find a just and equitable financial system for our world; God assists us as we work for a new South Africa; And God is in our homes as we build relationships with family and friends. Let us celebrate the unfolding new Jerusalem/ the new Earth with us in 2008.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Hi Pete - you left a comment on mine, so I thought I'd take a look at your blog. I'll definitely have to come back when I have time, but wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this one, and agree with it so much..."God is with us in the complications..." How else could we get through a day?
Thank you for putting it so beautifully.