And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. ...
“Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side— east, north, south, and west. The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. (Revelation 21:2–3, 9–16 NLT)
A massive, stunning, glorious place, whose presence allows us to think about the renewal of the arts and sciences, education, and the trades. The promise is that God will make not “some things new” but all things new.
Begin with the obvious—we know there is music in the kingdom. Just think of what the music will be! The intimate and the grand; music played on a single violin, music played by a massive orchestra and choir. Drums. A capella voices. Think of all the talented musicians who dwell there! We get to hear the work of the great composers, played by their own hand. We will hear the angels sing in their own tongues as well. I expect the city will be filled with music; I’m sure we will be dancing on the tables. Follow me now—but who makes that music? Who makes the instruments upon which that music is played?
You do, my friends. At least, those of you who want to will. I’d love to learn to play the cello; it’s always been one of my favorite instruments. I’d love to let loose on some taiko drums too. We’re not just talking about organ and choir here, for all the ethnic music from around the world will dwell in that place and joyful hearts will want to make music day and night. I wonder what instrument Jesus plays. I wonder what our Father’s voice sounds like, how far it carries. (You will hear your Father sing!) Oh my. The thought of it brings me such happiness.
And what of the trades? We know we have homes and dwellings in the kingdom— who furnishes those homes? Who makes the chairs, the tables, the tapestries? I’ve always wanted to work with my hands. I would love to have the time and skill and mentors to build boats with hand tools and sail them, learning to navigate by the stars. Again, I am not being fanciful; I am utterly serious. You are healed and restored as a human being, with all the faculties of personhood given to you by God. So the question is, what have you always dreamed of doing? What gifts have you yearned to express? What have you always wanted to be great at? These things are part of your personhood; they are how God created you, and they will be even more glorious in the re-created you. Dream, my friends.