Lace in the Yugoslavia National Room
Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh
Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5
Imagine there’s no heaven
And no religion, too;
Oh, can you dare a vision
Which might our lives renew,
Where all our human glory,
And ev’ry nation’s pride,
Where ev’ry race and people
Somehow in God abides?
Oh, can you dare a vision,
Where lies will be no more,
Where cruelty done to others,
All people will abhor,
Where life itself thirst quenches,
And every day we’re healed
By God, o’er all heads reigning,
Our love, light, strength and shield?
Scott L. Barton
And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
+ + +
A New Normality
Why do you think that they supposed
A place of worship was where clothes
Were washed? There would the women be! -
Down by the river, where you see
Still, those who for their families care,
In third world countries everywhere.
There, Lydia, by Paul baptized,
And her whole family, then comprised
The founding members of the Way
In Macedonia, arrayed
Not just in royal fabric's hue,
But were with love and prayer imbued,
Which wove their hospitality
Into a new normality.
Scott L. Barton
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.
+ + +
Remember how, two weeks ago,
"The Father and I are one," he said?
At first, I wondered, with the text
This week, if back then, I'd misread!
But Jesus' great consistency
Is that he's always giving more;
And so, today, his words about
The Father's greatness help restore
The confidence his friends now need
As they anticipate the worst;
He wants them all to know that
Loving them, and others, is the first
And foremost thing that he's about -
"Not as the world gives," he persuades;
He doesn't seek the credit! Thus,
They'll hear his words, "Be not afraid."
And so, the Spirit still reminds
Us, Jesus gives his own shalom,
So when we love, then God in Christ
With us will make himself at home.
Scott L. Barton
Jesus answered [Judas], “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
"You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe."