Coming to the end of my reading plan for 2017. Minor prophets with major messages. A God who breaks the sound barrier in order to further refine a man who has already been heaven’s boast as one of the elite of earth–a servant of God like no other, “a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8). And an encounter of the divine kind on a beach where, after breakfast together, the Great Shepherd commissions a flaky fisherman to feed His sheep.
And then there’s the revelation of a new heaven, and a new earth, and a new city. And what captures me this morning isn’t so much what’s there but what’s not there.
I hover over the promise that tears will be wiped away and death shall be no more. That mourning is done with, pain is a experience of the past, and crying is one of the “former things” that have passed away (Rev. 21:4).
But what’s really got me noodlin’ this morning is the declaration of no temple.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
(Revelation 21:22-23 ESV)
No temple. No structure built expressly for worship. No particular place to gather and offer the sacrifice of praise and the fruit of our lips. No one house where the glory would fall and the cloud would descend. No temple. Because it’s nothing but temple.
Where on earth He dwelt among His people, in the new economy His people dwell in His midst. The glory no longer needing to come down, but the glory every present because we have been taken up. Living in a city that has no need for sun or moon. Where it’s always day with an ever present light and an always shining lamp. The glory that once resided behind a curtain in the holy holies . . . the glory what once occupied a temple of living stones built into a spiritual house inhabited by the Spirit of glory . . . that glory now the very light of our existence.
We’ll be ever encountering glory. Not in a temple, though. ‘Cause in that day it will be nothing but temple.
It’s the stuff of eager expectation. It’s the imagery that says it’s gonna be worth it all. It’s the hope of glory. Ever present, always shining, all consuming glory.
Nothing but temple.
Soon to be ours because of grace. Soon to be ours for His everlasting glory.