That Lasting City
Hebrews 13:14-15, “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
On March 12, I returned from visiting with EPC churches in Puerto Rico to a whole new world. For the previous three days, I had the amazing opportunity to fellowship and worship with brothers and sisters from Bayamon, a community hard hit by earthquakes. My hope was that we would return this summer to partner with Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster and Pastor Juan Rivera and send a team from Fourth that could encourage and be encouraged by all that God is doing. But that’s not going to happen . . . yet.
Our world has changed. Our earthly home has been dramatically altered and will be likely forever different. And yet, this has not caught God off guard. He is not asleep at the wheel, nor has he turned his back on creation. Our God is alive and active in this world. He’s the one who brought order out of chaos. He spoke and the seas were calmed. His touch brought healing.
But he also told us that this world is not our home. He declared that he has prepared a place for us to be with him . . . a city that is to come. It is that promise that we must cling to when our days are long and our anxiety high. It is that hope that we must recall and recount as the walls close in and our footprint shrinks. It is that truth that we must “Tell Out My Soul” when the darkness of the night overwhelms.
While we await that better land (Philippians 3:20), we are, as the author to the Hebrews reminds us, to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. The news of our day confirms that here we have no lasting city. And yet, as a community of faith and as individuals, we are charged to live a life of reflective praise. To do so, we keep our eyes on the one who holds all things in his hands.