Easter 6 - Year C
Revelation 10:10, 22-22:5
If you were to see what you understood to be a City of Peace descending slowly from above, would you note what was there, or what wasn't?
It takes a theologically sophisticated viewer to note there was no Temple and the whole place glowed from an internal source. Most of us would get caught with the shape, size, color of the walls, and ornateness of the gates, strange that they are standing open, but look at those jewels. The elided section covers all these shiny things that first catch our eye, but we are interested in what lies beyond glitz.
Later, shown the Life River, we might look back and wonder if there were a waterfall from the city as it lowered upon earth. If such a river is not overflowing, is it a circular river contained within the city itself? If it is not overflowing, it is really a river of Life?
Eventually we will probably come to reflect on this vision as a vision and begin to have it inform our own behavior drawn to be based on it. Worshiping for Worship's sake is gone (no temple there to receive manipulative praise). With open gates there may be some uncleanliness that enters (after all, aren't you expecting to be there?). The whole Book of Immigration Policies, aka., Book of Life, is trumped by an open door. And so we are informed about our living when restrictions take a second place to our work of opening doors. With an abundance of living water we can expect that a Tree of Life (left over from Garden Eden?) will keep on bearing fruit, everlastingly. With such fecundity, we can afford to be generous, month after month, new fruit will ripen.
So worship changes, relationships change, and economics change when we are living in the shadow of a New Jerusalem. Imagine the changes in your life if hanging over you were not Damocles' Sword, but a templeless, open-gated, fruitful city - a preferred future - that we can model here below as it is ahead and above.