We will be God’s best
What had the glory of God? What was radiant like the rarest of jewels? The new Jerusalem. Let us next employ the allegorical description given by the angel and switch the words “what” to “who.” Who had the glory of God? Who was radiant like the rarest of jewels? The church, of course. At a wedding, the bride is the radiant one.
This scene is before all the angels, before God, before the lamb, and the four beasts around the throne. Before all these the package of mature and perfected humans is sent to their new home as the counterpart of God.
This descending city is why the writing goes on in the manner and style we see here. The creative writer, Madeleine L’Engle, says that a journalist tells and a writer renders. Dante in the cantos of his poem, The Divine Comedy, gives us something like this. He says that his poetry must be understood morally, literally, allegorically and anagogically.
Anagogically? I had never heard this word until reading L’Engle’s Circle of the Quiet the week I was preparing this lesson. L’Engle says that the anagogical is a level of story-telling which breaks the bounds of space and time giving us a glimpse of truth.
Is that not what we see here? We have an angel outside of time showing John something of his future, our future.
It is anagogical. It is also more.
Look at its walls. They are magnificent and high. There were 12 gates through the wall with 12 angels attending them. The gates had the names of the tribes of Israel. God made the way into his kingdom through the people of Israel. The gates were on all sides. While the road to God is only by the blood of the Lamb God is no respecter of persons.
The wall was founded on the 12 apostles of the Lamb. Remember the apostles were tasked by Jesus to carry the good news into all the world? It was to start in Jerusalem, move on to Judea and then the rest. There is the symbolism in these foundations.
All roads, all gates do not lead to the kingdom of God. That is not what God built and showed the angel. Neither is it what the angel took John to see.
Back to God’s best
How do you view yourself? As God does? How do you consider others? As God considers them? The beauty and radiance that matter flow from God through submitting, obedient humanity. Maturity, which we only know in part right now, is the beginning spark of that goodness. The new Jerusalem will be the full radiance. Right now we are but glows of a cell-phone or a flashlight. When these are joined together by God all being brought to maturity then will we see a thing like Revelation 21:11.