December 20, 2011

Wednesday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent

Lectionary

Morning - Ps.132, Zech. 8:1-23, Lk. 1:39-45
Evening - Ps. 139, Haggai 2:1-9, Rev. 21:9-27

Commentary
Revelation 21:9-27

The completion of everything foretold in the Bible is symbolised in the descent of the holy city of Jerusalem. Here we see the creation restored to God's original purpose and peopled by those who love and serve Him fully. Here evil is no more; all is righteousness and peace. Here God's will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, in fact, the distinction between the new (restored) creation and Heaven itself is very indistinct in this chapter.

But the message comes through clearly, the world is good again. The world, once given over to evil, once the dominion of Satan, has been reclaimed by God. Even people, once under the rule of Satan, have been redeemed by Christ and brought into the reclaimed earth. The world, created by God for His own glory, is His alone, and His glory shines in every part.

There are many interpretations of the symbolism of the dimensions of the city, the pearly gates, and the golden streets. We will not attempt to unravel them tonight. Let us rather keep our emphasis on the main point by looking at a passage that is closely related to this passage. In fact, the passage shows God's intention to do what this chapter of Revelation predicts, the full and final triumph of God's purpose in all creation. The passage is Ephesians 1:9-10:

"Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him."

Read chapters 21 and 22 as the fulfillment of God's purpose expressed in these verses, and you will understand their message.