Saturday, 18 May 2013

SPLC Eastertide 2013 - The New Jerusalem (Easter 6)

Easter 6 – Revelation 21:10,22-22:5 – The New Jerusalem
21:10 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.
21:22 I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
21:23 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.
21:24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
21:25 Its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there.
21:26 People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations.
21:27 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.
22:1 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
22:2 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.
22:3 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;
22:4 they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
22:5 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.
“Come with me on an imaginative journey...”
The desolation/destruction of Jerusalem, AD70
-         Destruction of Israel’s hope
-         Felt powerfully by early Christians, too
-         esp. when surrounded by evidence of the Roman citystate & the cultus of the religio
“The holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God”....can we hear it afresh?
-         Opulence and magnificence
-         Perfectly-ordered
-         ‘old Israel’ & ‘new Israel’ united
-         Vast
-         But not just a restoration.....
¼ of old Jerusalem was, no Temple
Why? Because “its temple is the Lord God the Almighty & the Lamb”.
Even cosmic change – no sun or moon.
Why?  Because “the glory of God is its light & its lamp is the Lamb”.
Security is complete – gates no longer to keep people locked out, but rather to welcome all the nations in (vv. 24&26)

....and then, the City of New, Holy Jerusalem also becomes a return to the Garden of Eden
-         River of water of life
-         Tree of life
Finally, note that the mountain – a symbol of the pyramidal or hierarchical system of authority & governance – is SURMOUNTED & REPLACED  by this perfectly-balanced City of God.
What are the implications for daily, Christian life a& witness?..
-         We must put the needs of the poor before the desires of the rich; the development of character before the passing of more rules; the leadership of servants rather than the busyness of bureaucrats
-         Replacing the mountain with true city for all, in which all share life... 

Next week:  
Easter 7 – Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-end – “Behold, I am coming soon!”

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