Like Nanjing, this city is circumscribed by walls and is accessible through gates. But these gates stand wide open- not just during the relative safety ofthe day, but all the time. Why? Because this is not an ordinary city. It is the holy city, the new Jerusalem, God's final act of new creation. It is the restored, redeemed city that God has been building since Abraham and Jesus.The new Jerusalem is a secure city, where residents live without fear. "Nothing unclean will enter it" the seer of Revelation assures. Here, heavy locked gates would be curiosities, tourist sites, artifacts of a bygone era, as they are in Nanjing today.Creating gates in walls of language, class, race and culture can be hard, discouraging work. Patience, perseverance and a sense of humour are needed. Especially essential is hope in the ultimate victory ofthe lamb that was slain, whom one day "every nation, tribe, people and language' 'will praise (Revelation 7:9).
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
Pages to are hidden for
"Its gates will never be shut"Please download to view full document