Saturday 31 August 2013

Bible Book:

Revelation 22:1-5 Saturday 31 August 2013


This vision of heaven really does have more than a touch of theHollywood spectacular about it. Imagine the scene: magnificentgolden buildings shining in sunlight; a great ornate throne set upat the entrance to the palace; a crystal clear river sparkling andtumbling its way through the street; 12 tall fruit trees with acontinuous crop of varying fruits throughout the year and allilluminated day and night with the light coming from God andChrist, enthroned above the scene.

What a stage set!

What a spectacle!

But there is more. Throughout this city there is a vast crowd ofservants, identified by God's name on their foreheads, bathing inperpetual light and waiting to serve God for ever. Granted, theyare beside that constant river of blessings and they have receivedjustice and mercy from God, but would those who have spent theirlives as the poor, oppressed, neglected and violated really bereassured by a picture of heaven that places them in perpetualservice - even if that is to God?

Slaves, of whatever kind, who have fought for freedom throughouttheir lives, may have a jaundiced picture of a heaven that hints ofmore captivity. Visionary language like this can be dangerous ifused thoughtlessly.

A city of gold wrapped in a vision of light,
where there is no night, nor a temple in sight,
but with a river pure and crystal bright
flowing between twelve trees of life
planted to heal the nations' strife.
Such is one vision of heaven.

But what of those whose place on earth
would seem to be of little worth?
Or those who pray their war may cease
and they, one day, may live in peace?
Or those who sigh with broken heart
to see their nation torn apart?
What heavenly vision is theirs?

A promise of peace wrapped in a cloak of care;
a place of hope where each may find a share
of a sacred space, just any place, so God can meet themthere.
This is their vision of heaven.

© Marjorie Dobson

To Ponder

  • What does this heavenly vision mean to you?
  • How would you explain the difference between service to God andthe exploitation by one person of another, if an exploited personchallenged you?
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