Three more days to make complete this month of Kate Motaung's October 2015 edition of 31 days of free unedited writes, this is day 28.
Wednesday 28 October: Hope
More than a couple of lives ago, a couple of different people each gave me a book about hope: Is there Hope for the City? and Hope for the Flowers. A lot of my books and other stuff's currently in storage, so I found them both on Amazon. Are they ever old! For a fact I know I kept both books, and I plan to reread them when I unpack my storage.
Hope for the City... I've been looking at the Revelation text for next Sunday, All Saints Day, because I'm facilitating adult bible study again.
In this passage we hear about the New Jerusalem, the city of God that formed the axis mundi between heaven and earth, where the old now has passed away—a common colloquialism for "dying"...Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and tears and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away."
And the one seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life."
Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, tells us "Behold! I make all things new!" No more death, no more sorrow, no more tears. A well-tended garden grows into a city. Easter is about hope. Christianity is about hope. Christianity is about death and resurrection, about God's incarnation in Jesus Christ, and then about the presence of the risen Christ in each one of us. Our dwelling is in the city. We make all things new? We become Hope for the Flowers and Hope for the City.
PS I wrote this after spending some time with Sunday's lectionary texts earlier today and in five minutes or fifteen or fifty minutes couldn't say everything I wanted to. It's all very very dense and rich. The Greek for God's dwelling with us is the same as in John 1:14, "the word became flesh and dwelt among us." In essence that's pitched a tent, a tabernacle (remember Ark of the Covenant?), a portable shelter. Succoth – the Festival of Booths – remembers and celebrates that sheltered precariousness! In The Message version of the bible, Eugene Peterson says "God moved into the neighborhood." True. God did move into the 'hood, but didn't stay put inside the house, condo, or apartment. God lived on earth as the axis mundi between earth and heaven. God moved around alongside the people everywhere they went, just as God in the Spirit calls all of us to do.