Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014

Psalm 72, Genesis 28:10-22, Hebrews 11:13-22

The readings for the past few days have got me thinking about and excited for heaven. A place that God is preparing for us. The psalmist imagined a kingdom where the poor and the needy and the oppressed were cared for and redeemed. In Genesis Jacob sees the Lord on the stairway and gateway to Heaven in a dream. Even this glimpse he described as awesome. In Hebrews we continue reading in
Chapter 11. Yesterday's reading was a list of people who demonstrated great faith. In today's reading it continues (Hebrews 11:13-16):

"All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."

What are the implications of knowing that God is preparing a city for us? What are the implications that we are nomads here on earth? Does this strengthen your faith? What issues and worries of today will no longer matter in Heaven? What issues and worries of today will matter in Heaven?

I've also been thinking about my family and friends who might not be super excited to think of Heaven as a city. Hopefully in our reading this year, we will learn more about Heaven. I suspect that it will be spacious enough for those who get claustrophobic just thinking about spending any amount of time (much less eternity) in a city. And I suspect that heaven is a city without crime and pollution and traffic. And even though there will be a lot of people, it won't seem crowded, and we won't be hurting each other all the time. I suspect. We will find out!

Prayer for cities:

Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of
that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their
glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth.
Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life.
Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate
poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail
with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and
women from different cultures and with differing talents may
find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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