Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Vision of New Jerusalem
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Revelation refers to God’s deliberate manifestation of His character, his mysteries and plans. Ch 21 reveals the descent of the bride and New Jerusalem. Early Christianity knew of both an earthly and heavenly Jerusalem. V. 2 speaks of “the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming out of heaven from God.” Speculation concerning God’s future kingdom, on earth with Jerusalem as its center dominated Christian eschatology in the beginning times. The New Jerusalem signifies the manifestation of the divine presence. All things are made new. More and fuller life is the result. Goodness, truth and beauty are the three eternal values that belong to the life of the Spirit.
We have looked toward the Bible’s land of promise for us. We believe that Heaven exists. But we do not let its existence touch our lives or settle into our souls. That means we are not sure about heaven. Our refusal to take seriously God’s creative future locks us into the present, and temporary problems look like they need permanent solutions. We lack patience for the work the God of creation yet has to do. Longing for Heaven need not be an escapism or coping device. It can be the acceptance of a reality. Religious imagination, may I assert, is no hallucination. Injustices and deprivations of earthly life will be fully and forever corrected. In Heaven, we will be liberated for every loss… We will find Heaven a place where the Lord’s Prayer is fulfilled, where God’s name is Hallowed. Heaven is a place of fellowship and reunion.
The Spanish royal court of arms used the title Ne plus ultra (There is no more beyond here). After Columbus’ discovery of America someone quickly amended it by dropping the Latin word Ne so that the inscription reads plus ultra (There is more beyond).
When John was to be shown the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven, he was carried away to ‘a great and high mountain.’ Christ’s people are meant to have the mountain view, the long view, the wide view, the really understanding view. How can we keep the high altitude of vision? We must live near to the Scriptures. We must love the place of prayer. Jesus loved us and washed us from our sins in His own Blood. What shall we do to wash our sins away? Confess our sins, repent of them, invite Jesus to come into our hearts and live in us.
Prayer: Lord we praise for the hope of eternal life and heaven that takes us through amidst of all life situations. Amen
Thought for the day: Hope of heaven gives a heavenly experience on earth
Dr. Moni Varghese, MTC Greater Washington