- Psalm 67 (VU p.786)
- From the Writings of the Church: Revelation 21:1-22:5
The Hymns this week are:
- #710 Shall We Gather at the River
- #588 Many are the Lightbeams
- #713 I See a New Heaven
- #642 Be Thou My Vision
The Sermon title is The City By the River
Early Thoughts: What do we hope for when the world is changed? What is the vision of the Reign that is to come?
Here in the climax of the book of Revelation we have a vision of the Reign. Interesting that it is a city. After all much Christian imagery focusses on the wilderness and the "pastoral" -- shepherds and gardens and hillsides. But the ministry of Jesus was largely in towns of varying sizes. And the ministry of the early church (as we have it described in Scripture) was almost exclusively in urban settings -- read the book of Acts if you don't believe me.
But this isn't just any city. This is a new Jerusalem, a new Zion. Zion is the home of God on earth within Jewish thought. This is the new beginning.
SO what is our new beginning? When we gather at the river that flows from the throne of God what do we hope to find? And do we see signs of it in the world around us?