The Holy City


And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.

~Revelation 21:2, REB


We don’t see the glory until we see the whole picture.


A lot of country folk could get the wrong idea when they see heaven compared to a city. Most of us had rather not live in the city: more restrictions, more crime, more trash, more traffic and less freedom. In our culture, we see a difference between a city and a town. Hartselle, for example, is a small town and does not have the characteristics of an Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, New York or L.A. Many who live in small towns have the same fear of cities that I do: again–too big, too much traffic, crime and problems. But in biblical times, cities were a source of comfort and hope. Cities/Towns had resources like water, food and shelter. Many a pilgrim cheered when they saw the distant lights of a city. In biblical times, the open country was dangerous not just because of thieves but the elements themselves were perilous. We don’t appreciate towns and cities here in the Southeast because we have them everywhere. Right here in Morgan county we have six incorporated townships: Decatur, Hartselle, Priceville, Trinity, Falkville and Eva. It is not that way in Wyoming: Hartselle would be the third largest city in the state. Actually, I am kidding but there are no big cities in Wyoming.

There are good things about cities: they are organized, resourced, lit, filled with people, hospitals, doctors, etc. It is also convenient to live in town. When June and I lived in New Orleans, the Krispi Kreme was right across the street. If we had trouble sleeping, we could get up in the middle of night, walk across the road and get a fresh donut. That is what I call convenience. But the glory of any city is not what you see in the streets [trash, crime, traffic, sickness, loneliness]. The glory of a city is rising above all these things and seeing the city from a different perspective. Charles L. Allen made this exact observation when he flew out of Atlanta one night: from his plane window, several thousand feet above, Atlanta looked glorious because all he could see were the lights.

Just remember, the ancients saw the city as a life savor, a place of comfort and security. Most of the cities had walls and gates, kind like what they have in Memphis. So heaven is a place of unlimited resources where all our needs are met. It is a place of glorious light and it is filled with happy people. There may be some traffic but no crime, no trash, no sickness, no death, no need for doctors or hospitals. We want need any lawyers or preachers either.

I know you’ve heard the story of the young couple who got killed on the eve of their wedding. When they got to the pearly gates they request a minister so they could get married pronto. Their guardian angel took their request and then disappeared for what seemed like an eternity. Finally he came back with a minister. Then the groom said, “We also need a lawyer because we want a prenuptial agreement.” The angel said, “You have to be kidding, it took me forever to find a preacher, and I’m not about to look for a lawyer.”

Enjoying this Fall weather, what about you? Big Mama is on the ball, she has us packed and ready to depart for Guatemala. We are going down with 5-6 bags and coming back with one.

Great cottage prayer meeting: it was good to have Dale and Paula Windsor, Mike and Cheryl Childers, Brooks and Belinda Childers, Don and Peggy Murphy, Jesse James Russel and Carol Southern in our home.

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