Scripture: Revelation 21:9-21
Key verse: (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.
Reflection: What is heaven like? Is it like “the Good Place” (a television show)? Do “All Dogs Go to Heaven”? (of course they do!)
The ancient world believed that the earth was flat and “heaven” was held in the sky like a giant blue dome. Blending “heaven” with the sky has led many of us to imagine this:
The writer of Revelation takes us on an incredible fantastic adventure, sharing what is revealed to him in a spiritual vision. In his vision he sees the Lamb of God on the throne surrounded by heavenly choirs. He sees the battle between the Lord and evil (good news, God wins!). In today’s passage, he describes his vision of the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. His description of the city is detailed. It’s a gigantic cube constructed by beautiful jewels and precious metals.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Though we don’t know exactly what heaven will look like, we know that it will be a community in which God’s will is done. A community of love, justice, peace, and joy. When we pray for God’s kingdom and God’s will, we commit ourselves to living as citizens of heaven in the here and now. The holy city came down out of heaven from God rather than God sending down a spaceship (or a stairway) to bring people up. God is committed to creation and will bring heaven to earth. Look for that beauty today – maybe not in beautiful jewels or precious metals but in acts of love and kindness and justice.
Prayer: Give me a vision, O God, of a world in which your will is done. Fill me with hope. Encourage me and empower me to live as a citizen of heaven today. Show me glimpses of the beauty of your power at work. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].