“Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God” (Psalm 87:3)
Cities are fascinating places. They are usually very busy and full of noise. People gather together to socialise, to work, to explore and to create a sense of identity for themselves. And in the midst of these activities a culture is formed uniting the various threads of diversity that the city attracts to itself.
For the people of God in Israel, God himself had established a city and had formed its culture. From the moment they were delivered from the oppression of Egypt He had been nurturing them and teaching them what it was to be in a relationship with him. A big part of this was the life of the city of Jerusalem, the place where every worshipper could meet with God.
And we can see this in the song of praise penned by the sons of Korah. They were overjoyed at knowing the presence of God amongst them. What is wonderful for us is that we stand on this side of the cross and have direct access to God through the Lord Jesus. His presence is always with us it is not dependent on our geographical location. It’s good to stop for a second and think, does the presence of Christ in my day to day life move me to praise and worship?
As the song continues we see that this is not a city for one specific ethnicity or cultural identity (vs.4). The prophetic voice of the song points to a city which is made of diversity, a city where the nations gather, a place where all people find rest. And there is a very profound yet very simple reason for this. The Lord himself is the one who has registered the birth of each citizen living inside the walls (vs.5-6). Does that not fill you heart with great joy and wonder at the work of the sovereign king?
The reason the nations can gather to him is because he has caused them to come alive. Through faith we have access to the presence of God no matter where we have come from. By faith we will enter into that new Jerusalem, where there is no temple or sun because God’s presence and glory are displayed in radiant perfection (Rev 21:22-27).
And that is the work that we are involved in; inviting others from the peoples of East Asia, in the cities, in the towns & in the villages to respond to the glorious message of new life in Christ. What a wonderful calling for each of us! What a great hope in Christ!