Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Twelve colourful stone foundations for the walls of the New Jerusalem
—detail of painting by Joan C. Thomson
Last week on Sunday we spent a little time thinking about the 'end times salvation community' otherwise known as the 'wife of the Lamb' coming down from heaven. This gathered people of God are portrayed in chapter 21 of Revelation as a resplendent, jewelled city of great glory, emanating with holy light.
Bearing in mind there is no need to build an actual model of this city, but we are to take it symbolically, the mental picture speaks of completeness and a wonderful diversity of hue.
Reflecting on the Parish Party (quiz/supper/concert) held last Saturday evening, I was left with a feeling of of thankfulness for the way things come together in a multi-cultural church context. The supper and concert particularly revealed a diversity of gifts coming from the body of Christ. We are different jewels in the same city. Even though this is true, there is still so much untapped potential for us to be and express this gathered salvation community, celebrating the diversity of God's creativity and giftings.
I hope in 2021 we are less afraid of the risk of trying something new, and more embracing of upended orders of worship and the speaking and hearing of believer's heart languages in the church building. We might be jasper, sapphire or emerald, but all are precious in God's sight, and in the New Jerusalem.
Speaking of the New Jerusalem imagery in Revelation, Marva Dawn observes;
'unfortunately our hyper-rationalism steals from us the sense of mystery that these pictures are intended to convey - our scientific quantifying destroys the truth of the symbol.'
Something to chew over as we conclude our current sermon series this week.