Its gates will never be shut by ProQuest

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									                                                                              Canadian Mennonite February 22, 2010                     15


      God at work in the Church                                                              of God that lies ahead.
                                                                                                “Blessed are those who from now on
                      ‘Confessing Jesus Christ’ Reflection                                                    ”
                                                                                             die in the Lord, the seer says. Their work
                                                                                             will not pass away with their physical

 Its gates will never be shut                                                                death, “for their deeds shall follow them”
                                                                                             (Revelation 14:13).
                                                                                                Because God’s final kingdom will involve
                     Story and Photo by Philip Bender                                        the renewal of time and space—the new
                                                                                             Jerusalem comes down to earth—words and
                    Mennonite Church Canada Rele ase
                                                                                             deeds done today in the name of Jesus, even
                                                                                             when they seem ineffectual, are not fleeting
“Its gates will never be shut by day—and     breathing life through green trees and          or futile. They will endure beyond this life,
there will be no night there . . . nothing   flowing streams.                                being somehow used by God as construc-
unclean will enter it” (Revelation 21:25-7).    Like Nanjing, this city is circumscribed     tion material for the new Jerusalem.
                                             by walls and is accessible through gates. But      Creating gates in walls of language,


N
          anjing is a city of walls. My wife these gates stand wide open—not just dur- class, race and culture can be hard,
          Julie and I visited this ancient   ing the relative safety of the day, but all the discouraging work. Patience, persever-
          former Chinese capital last        time. Why? Because this is not an ordinary ance and a sense of humour are needed.
July before making our recent move to        city. It is the holy city, the new Jerusalem,   Especially essential is hope in the ulti-
Dazhou. One can still walk on portions       God’s final act of new creation. It is the      mate victory of the lamb that was slain,
of the old wall that zigzags around the      restored, redeemed city that God has been whom one day “every nation, tribe, people
central city. Built in the
								
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