The "city" seems like a strange and uninviting image for heaven. Would not a pleasant, tranquil garden scene be better? Eugene Peterson writes, "Many people want to go to heaven the way they want to go to Florida -- they think the weather will be an improvement and the people decent." But in John's revelation of heaven, escapism is not to be found anywhere. The city of Jerusalem with all its flaws is the dominant symbol. Although Jerusalem has had a history of great worship, preaching, and temple-building, it also has been a place characterized by paganism, deceit, and murder.
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.