Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DAY 833 - Worship And Witness (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

                  Today's Reading: Revelation 21:6-21

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Please click this link to read Revelation 21:6-21

Bible Study

     Here in today's passage John wants us to see the New Jerusalem which replace the worldly kingdom.  

Let's take a look at what Bishop N.T. Wright says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._T._Wright ) :
    We have the extraordinary measurements of the city…As verse 16 makes clear, the city is not only vast in terms of its footprint - fifteen hundred miles each way, roughly the same number of square miles as the Roman empire. (That, of course, may be part of the point.)  It is also fifteen hundred miles high.  John, of course, has no thought of what kind of buildings would occupy this extraordinary structure; he is constructing a symbolic universe, not an architect's design.  The city will be an enormous, perfect cube…because that is the shape of the holy of holies at the heart of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6.20).  The whole city has become God's dwelling place, God's temple.  Or, more exactly, the very centre of God's temple, the holy of holies, the place where God dwells for ever
     The picture we are gazing at in these chapters is certainly a vision of the ultimate future…Because the central reality of God's future is Jesus himself, and because Jesus is not merely a future reality but the one who lived and died and rose again and even now reigns in glory and hold the seven stars in his hand, the reality of the new city, though still a matter of hope, is something to be glimpsed in the present, especially in the ways sketched throughout this book:  worship and witness.  The new city is not just a dream, a comforting future fantasy.  Those who follow the lamb already belong in that city, and already have the right to walk its streets. 

N.T. Wright. Revelation for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, p.194-196.

      Do you have some kind of ideas of what the Holy City, the New Jerusalem will be now? As in John's time, it is as large as the Roman Empire. In our time, it is as large as any Empire you can think of. And, the central idea is that our King lives there with us! Not the Roman emperor or any kind of human king. 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmax47l2hLU

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: Worship and witness

    What I receive from Jesus today is the ultimate purpose of our lives as human beings: worship and witness. I have a strong sense of the wonderful way of how Bishop N.T. Wright wants us to understand this famous passage, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.

    We as human beings often worship and witness our worldly "wholly city" and witnessing our worldly "wholly city" and its king. The "wholly city" and its king demands our time, money and energy so that we can have more money, desire and power. We can see how people crazily witness what they believe in selling their own products or their own ideas wasting their whole lives and at last they start to understand that it is all meaningless. Because they or we see a false "wholly city" and not the true "Holy City"!

    The difference is who is the king living in that city? Is it Jesus the King or any other person(s) or things as king dominating, lording that city?

    Just as bishop N.T. Wright says, if you have Jesus as Lord and King you are already walking in that Holy City with Jesus each day. Can you believe that can happen? We are not there yet, but we are there already! Very mystical, right?
Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us each day to walk with you in the Holy City. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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