January 11, 2022

Brian D. McLaren, "We Make the Road by Walking," pp. 256-257

There's a beautiful visionary scene at the end of the Book of Revelation that is as relevant today as it was in the first century. It doesn't picture us being evacuated from Earth to heaven as many assume. It pictures a New Jerusalem descending from heaven to Earth. This new city doesn't need a temple because God's presence is felt everywhere. It doesn't need sun or moon because the light of Christ illuminates it from within. Its gates are never shut, and it welcomes people from around the world to receive the treasures it offers and bring the treasures they can offer. From the center of the city, from God's own throne, a river flows - a river of life or aliveness. Along its banks grows the Tree of Life. All of this, of course, evokes the original creation story and echoes God's own words in Revelation: "Behold! I am making all things new!"
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... Revelation ends with the sound of a single word echoing through the universe. ... It is a word of invitation, welcome, reception, hospitality, and possibility. It is a word not of ending, but of new beginning. That one word is Come! The Spirit says it to us. We echo it back. Together with the Spirit, we say it to everyone who is willing.  Come!