The city does not need the sun or the moon . . . for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light. . . .
— Revelation 21:23-24
After returning home from my long hike on the Appalachian Trail, I still walk every day. Now my walks are on city sidewalks, where I frequently meet neighbors pushing strollers and walking dogs.
The final scenes in the Bible portray life in a city where God lives with us and provides all its light. This city also includes “the river of the water of life” and the tree of life for healing the nations.
Soon after God completed his masterpiece of creation, our human parents disobeyed and plunged this world into misery. From that tragic moment on, the Bible records the depressing consequences of sin. At the same time, thankfully, we see God’s salvation plan unfolding, despite the forces aligned against it.
Finally, in Revelation, we see life restored and made new in a city. But this is no ordinary city. The sun is not needed—God’s glory gives it light, and the nations walk by this light. Jesus has completely conquered sin. God’s children freely live and work and play here, flourishing in full life as God intends for us.
Without this city of light at the end of the tunnel of human history, we could easily be tempted to give up in despair. It takes faith to keep walking with hope toward what God has promised. Like the countless believers who have gone before us, we need to walk faithfully, trusting God as we serve him.
Lord Jesus, help us to trust you as we walk in and toward your light. Amen.