[From November 18, 2015]
"I saw the temple in the city, for its temple is the LORD God the Almighty and the Lamb."
One of the characteristics that people think of when they think of heaven (besides fat little angels playing harps on clouds) is streets of gold. That's actually biblical (Rev.21:21), as John had a vision of heaven. But more than that, or the pearls at every one of the 12 gates (which is also biblical - same verse)... the part that most intrigued me was v.22, which says heaven has no central worship space. No temple. No church. No gathering space for people to come together to connect to God.
At first this is quite curious. We Christians have been taught to make worship (at a church) a priority. We are called to gather together in community to be the body of Christ. But John's vision of heaven has no temple - no central worship space where we can be "the body." Why? "For its temple is the LORD GOD the Almighty and the Lamb." There is no need to come to one place, for God is there! Everywhere! God's presence fills "the new Jerusalem."
Imagine a time when the presence of God is so powerful that you feel and experience it all the time. No hatred. No violence. No pain. Just peace, grace, hope, joy, and love forever. THAT'S something even more valuable than streets of gold! May we work towards that being a reality. AMEN.