All are Welcome


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“Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great & high,

and showed me the Holy City,


Coming down out of heaven from God. 

It shone with the glory of God,

And its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel,

Like a jasper, clear as crystal.

Revelations 21:9-11

Pastor said that the Apostle John completes the vision of the church that Isaiah first saw.  He explained that we know  Revelations builds upon the Old Testament (specifically Isaiah) because the gates are inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel.  The importance of having the same number of gates and doors on all sides meant that there was no VIP gate.  Pastor said that there’s no “front” door; and in my mind I finished his phrase, thinking “there’s also no back door”.  There’s no such thing as a servant’s entrance.  Pastor also said that the city would take people from all nations, races, ethnicities, languages; because scripture says that that there are 3 gates in every direction.  So you’re welcome, no matter where you come from.

I’m not used to people welcoming me.  Normally, when I hear the words, “you’re welcome”, it’s a response to my thanking someone for something they’ve done for me.  Someone opens the door for me because I have bags in both hands.  I say thanks.  The other person says, “you’re welcome”.  Years ago, I took a trip to a predominantly French-speaking country.  The people who spoke English spoke it as a second language.  Several people said “you’re welcome” to me.  My immediate thought was, “I didn’t thank you for anything.  Why are you saying that?”  Then it dawned on me that they meant the words literally, as an offering of hospitality.  It was a new and slightly weird and nice feeling to have people verbally welcome me.

Pastor said that this city is not just an illustration of heaven.  It also a picture of what church should be like.  As the bride of Christ, we should welcome people.

 It had a great, high wall with 12 gates, and with 12 angels at the gates.

On the gates were written the names of the 12 tribes of Israel.

There were 3 gates on the east,

3 on the north, 3 on the south and 3 on the west.

The wall of the city had 12 foundations,

And on them were the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.

Revelations 21:12-13


BOW is my first experience in blogging, and my writing has undergone an evolution since I started. I use If I Knew Then What I Know Now to think aloud about my Christian walk. When you read it, my hope is that WE (the BOW community & friends) then discuss how to apply God's word into our everyday lives in a practical manner. As Christian lay-theologians, we'll talk about our world, and how we can be in it but not of it. So whatever your thoughts are about what you read, PLEASE share.
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