Jim Gertmenian’s questions on scripture for April 28

Revelation 21:1-6

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”
This passage is part of the ecstatic vision of John, received on the island of Patmos, of the coming and indwelling Realm of God. Literal readings of the Book of Revelation are almost always distractions from the deep and profound hope that is lodged in these chapters. In approaching this book, and passages like the above, one must loosen the moorings of literalism and trust oneself to the sea of Truth that is beyond reason.

Questions for Reflection:
1. Meditate on the verse: “See, I am making all things new.” Newness here is not mere refreshment or refurbishment but an altogether different reality that breaks into our present reality. What is being made new, today, in your life? Where do you see signs of newness in the world? At Plymouth Church?

2. The Holy City of Jerusalem is a symbol for the Realm of God. How would people treat one another in such a city? What prevents us from treating one another like that today? If you were to live as if that city were already present, what would change about you?

3. In what ways may it be said that “The home of God is among mortals?”

James GertmenianJimG_preferred
Senior Minister

About PlymouthSpirit

Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. We are spiritual, loving, relevant and transforming.
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One Response to Jim Gertmenian’s questions on scripture for April 28

  1. joanmjsmiley says:

    Revelation 21:1-6 is a beautiful vision of what could be possible for all people if only___.
    I found an article that provides an answer to the “if only” question in the May issue of Jim Walli’s Sojourners magazine. In Wallis’ writing “A Global Call for a New Social Covenant” he describes a document what resulted from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2013 entitled: The “Global Agenda Council on Values: A New Social Covenant”. sojo.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/NewSocialCovenant.pdf

    This writing speaks first of the need to rebuild trust amongst people and nations. In the development of a New Social Covenant we are told, there is need for recognition of the ‘broad consensus–across cultures, religions and philosophies–on shared, human aspirations: i.e.
    The dignity of the human person; The importance of a common good that transcends individual interests;The need for stewardship.”The ideas and proposals made in this written document provide us not only with a vision but also a method to allow the vision in Rev. 21: 1-6. where “all things are made new” becomes our world’s reality. It certainly is worth our consideration and deservng of the attention of world leaders. I hope the article on the New Social Covenant become a subject for study and discussion at Plymouth.

    I believe that our efforts and prayers for reconciliation amongst family members and building of caring communities is truly a work in process.

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