April 28, 2010 | 10:13 am

Wednesday – The Luxury of Old Things

As I have wrestled with the text from Revelation 21, I find that the probable history surrounding it shapes how I understand it. The book was written by a Jewish Christian, and circumstances may have forced him to leave his home without hope of return. From 66-70 CE there was a Jewish war with Rome. In the end, Rome sacked the city, and the sacred temple and the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. This led to a diaspora that left people refugees in foreign lands. If he is drawing from this experience, then when he writes of a “new Jerusalem” coming down from heaven, he is touching upon one of the most basic human yearnings: a place to call home.

We can easily grow tired of living in the same old house, going to the same old job, and having the same old routine week after week. When I read this text, it reminds me that there are people who do not have the luxury of the same old thing. Their homes are gone, their jobs are lost, and every day brings more uncertainty. They yearn for the day that they can complain about the same old thing. As I reflect on the vision of a “new Jerusalem,” I realize I owe God a prayer of gratitude for the same old things in my life. And I need to pray for those who go to bed each night with a hope that something new will appear.