the heavenly city

Revelation 21 describes the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.  The images are pretty awesome.  But after reading it, I think that God must own a mining company.  Just read this litany of minerals and jewels that make the foundations of the city: jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst.  Whoa God, have you moved to West Virginia?

The picture posted on this blog is hilarious, mainly because it tries to depict all of these jewels as if the city of God were really made up of shiny rocks from the earth.  Come on now, that’s just silly.

Take, for example, this description of the streets in the heavenly city: “and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass” (Revelation 21:21).  Okay, first of all, is there only one street in the heavenly Jerusalem?  Traffic must be killer.  Second, since when did gold become transparent?  Last time I looked at my wedding ring, you can’t see through gold.

My point is this: I find it hilarious that people try to depict the heavenly city with earthly images.  Revelation is juxtaposing these images which make no sense precisely because it is impossible to imagine the heavenly city this side of death.  So everybody chill out – put away your watercolors – and use a little bit more imagination.  The Holy Spirit can do amazing things with a lively mind.

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