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Advent Dec 2: Where the Streets Shine with Glory

• Rachel Pannell

Posted in Advent, Devotions, Suffering

Reading for December 2: Revelation 21:1-8 and 22:1-5

Reflection: Where the Streets Shine with the Glory of the Lamb

To know the glory of God and treasure Him above all things is what we were made for, or as the Westminster Catechism puts it: the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

As we read yesterday, however, from the beginning we fell woefully short, treasuring created things and the glory of man above God, treasuring self above all else. But looking to our own desires, to temporary selfish pleasures, brought with it only sickness and pain, suffering and injustice, tears and the sentence of death. Terrible as those things are, horrific as they can be for some, the greatest consequence isn't the pain or injustice in this world, the greatest consequence is alienation from our Creator, enmity with God (James 4:4).

We were made to know God and glorify Him, to treasure and enjoy Him, yet in that sinful state we could never know Him to be able to treasure or glorify Him and we had no hope of ever being with Him to enjoy Him.

But God had a plan.

God sent His son to be born a man for us, the very arrival we look forward to celebrating later this month. God sent His Son to be tempted and suffer this world as we suffer it, more than that, to bear the weight of our sin and the punishment we deserved. Jesus was born and died for us to restore us to relationship with our Father in heaven. In Christ we are:

  • saved to know God and be reconciled to Him,
  • saved to be adopted as sons and daughters,
  • saved to grow and be changed, recognized as His children,
  • saved for fellowship with our Lord and Savior, and
  • saved from the final judgment.

The day of judgment will come (Rev. 20:11-15), and when it is done, those who are in Christ will live forever where the streets shine with the glory of the Lamb—because that very Lamb, once a babe in Bethlehem, has saved us.

On that day, our Father will make all things new. Sin and its consequences – pain, mourning, death – will be wiped away by God Himself. The thirsty will drink from the water of life without payment as the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). The leaves of the Tree of Life which grows there will heal the nations, and there will no longer be anything accursed (Rev. 22:2-3). The new heavens and the new earth will be the ultimate renovation, wrought by the power of God, and the ultimate homecoming for the bride of Christ.

Our deepest longing met. Every truth in God's Word fulfilled. Every promise realized to the uttermost.

The very dwelling place of God will be with man. The power and glory of God will surround us, engulf us, inspire us as we worship unencumbered by sin. He will be our light, and there will be no darkness. Where now we see only with the eyes of faith, there we will see our Savior face to face. We will see His glory just as Jesus prayed in John 17:24, "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me…." And we will enjoy God forever as we spend eternity growing in our knowledge of Him, coming to understand more fully that He is the source and goal of all things. And we will dance together, the bridegroom and His bride, in the city of our God!

This is what we long for, what we have to look forward to. This the greatest purpose of all we do and choose and dream: to know and enjoy the glory of God forever in our true home where the streets shine with the glory of the Lamb.

Because Of You
There’s a place where the streets shine
With the glory of the Lamb.
There’s a way, we can go there,
We can live there beyond time.

Because of You, because of You
Because of Your love,
Because of Your blood.

No more pain, no more sadness
No more suffering, no more tears.
No more sin, no more sickness
No injustice, no more death

Because of You, because of You
Because of Your love,
Because of Your blood.

All our sins are washed away,
And we can live forever,
Now we have this hope, because of You.
Oh, we’ll see You face to face
And we will dance together
In the city of our God because of You.
(Paul Oakley, 1995)

Rachel Pannell

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