Sunday, July 12, 2009

New York New York

I am sitting on a bus on the corner of 33rd and seventh avenue in New York city. Leaving the epicenter of world culture, capitalism, and cultural diversity is something of bittersweet this evening. On the one hand I am beginning my journey back towards my home, family, and life, but I am leaving behind a friend whose loyalty, love, commitment, patience, and wisdom have punctured into my heart and soul. The past days have brought into my life moments of intense joy in the fellowship of my closest of friends along with those of whom these friends live most intimately. But they also have enlightened my heart to a world I had previously only been able to imagine. This educational experience has left me deeply challenged on a number of levels.

NYC is unlike any other, a empire of extremely where poor meet rich, young meet old, religions foster the zealous and the careless, where you find the hungry and the full, men and women of every age, size, shape color, sexual orientation, social stratification, and race.

The city quickly revealed my own prejudices, pride, and sense of entitlement. I don't see the world like God does, I see things from a very homogenous, elitist, suburban perspective. But what made New York so beautiful is that it truly is a shadow of things yet to come...New York mirrors so much the heavenly city Augustine wrote of 1600 years ago in his famous work "City of God". Both the to be "New" City of heaven and New York City seem to share so much in common. Both are both enormous cities filled with people of every tribe and tongue gathered together in harmony. Though in no way is New York redeemed and thus its citizens pursuit is very unlike the holistic pursuit of the Citizens of the New Heaven who pursue God and his glory, where as the citizens of New York wholehearted pursuiis the dollar bill. But similiarly people from every walk of life come together and dwell together. There is even a large Garden in the middle. How close a resemblance does this city hold to our soon and future "City of God".
May the God of Power, strength, love, passion, and compassion have mercy on this City and bring revival to its gates. Jesus you see all mankind as image bearers, forgive us my God, forgive me...

-revelation 5:1-14
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!" The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.


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