Visions of Christmas: Seeing Gold
The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
Three times in Revelation 21 the apostle John uses the word “gold” to describe various aspects of the eternal city (verses 15, 18, 21). That’s because, in the ancient world and still today, gold remains the most sought-after symbol of wealth and purity. The only way John knew to assign ultimate value and beauty to the New Jerusalem was to describe it as “pure gold” (verses 18, 21).
The combination of gold and white is often seen at Christmas, especially in ornaments on “Chrismon Trees” — trees decorated with symbols depicting Jesus Christ. White (for purity) and gold (for value) are two appropriate colors by which to depict Christ. Combining those with John’s vision of gold reminds us of the ultimate meaning of Christmas: God’s eternally valuable gift to us. Yes, Christmas is about Christ’s birth. But it is ultimately about why Christ was born — to live a perfect life before God and qualify as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Let every gift, every card, every festive occasion this Christmas be a reminder that the eternal celebration is yet to come in the city of gold!
Worldlings make gold their god; saints make God their gold.