Streets of Gold – Streets of God

The subtitle of this post is “Conversations Overheard On the Church Shuttle Bus.” Half the fun of riding the shuttle bus from the high school parking lot up to the church campus is listening to the (sometime) roar of conversations between people who share their Sundays, and use the bus to catch up on the week’s happenings. Sometimes there are very few people on the bus, and the conversations are limited but more easily heard. This was one of those times.
One half of the conversation mentioned to the other half, a church deacon and a nice fellow, how we would be walking on the streets of gold in heaven. The deacon commented “They won’t be priceless anymore.” The comment struck me as missing the point. Here’s why.
God could make the streets of the New Jerusalem from anything. Grass, heather, concrete, gold. He’s made the streets of gold; He’s told us so. And the gates, 12 of them will be made of pearl, giant pearls, one for each gate. The walls will be made of jasper, and carnelian, and other precious stones, the same stones that Aaron wore on his ephod representing the 12 tribes of Israel. God has made a city that we recognize as precious beyond compare, and meaningful because it reminds us of the history of our faith. God’s desire to bless is so complete and so intimate that he’s chosen to make our true and perfect home of materials that are beautiful beyond compare. He made the city beautiful for us, so we could have something to look forward to, and so we could have a place to live that would touch our hearts with God’s tangible love.
I understood the deacon’s comment. He meant that nothing is of any real value or beauty compared to Jesus, so what we value on this earth will have no value in the context of heaven. While true, I think this is a discouraging and unbiblical way to look at it. God made Eden for our enjoyment, and for His glory. He’s made the New Jerusalem for the same reason. The natural beauty of Eden was nothing compared to the beauty and glory of God, but God made it beautiful all the same. I believe New Jerusalem is beautiful for the same reason. God is beauty, and God is love, and He wants us to know that He’s spared nothing of Himself when it comes to our eternal home.
New Jerusalem will be fantastically beautiful, priceless, stunning, beyond compare. We’ll walk the streets and our breath will be taken away with the evidence of God’s love and care for us. It will be most beautiful of all because the Light of the World will be there, in all His glory, animating the city and our hearts with eternal joy.
That’s the reason He’s made streets of gold, Streets of God.

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