Judith Mason, a contemporary African artist, exhibited a major retrospective at the Johannesburg art museum in about 2008, before her death in 2016. I have a distinct memory of how her art changed me, turning me inside out, leaving me dizzy and nauseous. Her works haunted by dreams for weeks afterwards, while a new and emerging consciousness was painfully shedding the skin of the old. Have you ever wandered through an art exhibition where what you saw truly changed the way you view the world? Art can do that, in picture and in words. The book of Revelation is a highly symbolic work of art. Through the word symbols one’s imagination can be transformed so listeners respond to the world in a new way. In Revelation 21, the invitation is to begin reordering our lives, and our world, and our minds, and families, and our time, so that it begins to resemble the New Jerusalem. For example, the new Jerusalem has no temple because God is everywhere, how am I living in the world in such a way that I acknowledge the
presence of God in everything around me, in the people I meet, in the creation I encounter? In the New Jerusalem there are leaves for the healing of the nations, how am I an agent of healing and transformation?
John 13: 31-35
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”