When there are so many challenges made, so many insistent declarations that call into question what you see, what you hear, what you think, and yes, what you know, it is hard to be certain sometimes about anything.
While doubt is not unwelcome for the honest believer who is trying to understand, it is good to hear something that reminds the faithful follower about why their journey of faith was begun in the first place.
Listen now for echoes of truth, so that you may believe still.next >
And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God....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 is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day — and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 21:10, 22-27next >
My kitchen has a large window that faces east. One morning last winter after weeks of overcast skies, I found myself filled with joy at light streaming across the breakfast table. The sun had returned! The light warmed my skin and my heart, filling me with gratitude for its Creator.
The Spirit that Jesus left as advocate reveals to John a vision of a holy city filled with light. This light surpasses even the beauty of the winter sun. It doesn’t radiate from burning gases millions of miles away. Instead, it glows from the presence of God and the Lamb right in the midst of their people. It shines on all nations, and rulers humble themselves in its presence. It drives out all night, just as it drives out all impurity and falsehood. This glory of God shines from the Lamb, a symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice.
In John’s vision, the Light of the World finally shines where all can see, casting out shadows and bringing abundant and everlasting life.
Joshua Haysnext >
Light of the World, thank you for bringing light and warmth to my life. Help me to recognize your light even when the world feels dark around me, and help me to hope in belief for the day when your light will shine plainly for all to see. Amen.next >
It is in the knowing
And in the unknowing
That the faithful find their way through.
It is in trust despite distrust,
Harmony despite discord,
And belief despite deceit
That Love finds its ultimate victory,
Unwilling and finally unable
To let go the beloved.
Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.