The whole world now follows the Gregorian calendar, but there was a time when every country followed its own calendar, and the Church had its own. Back then, this was the last day of the year, and a new church year beginning tomorrow with the First Sunday of the year.
The Church saw today not only as the last day of the year, but also the last day for this world. St. John, in his Book of Revelation tried putting into words the unspeakable wonders that would come to be as this world is replaced by a greater one.
In one of his letters when he was faced with the task of describing his vision of the afterlife he threw up his hands saying, “We are already God’s children, but as to what we shall be, it has not as yet been revealed.” That was the truth, but in today’s reading John came up with imagery to describe the indescribable joys he felt coming upon him.
From a time when there was no type of government other than kingship, John pictured God sitting upon a royal throne. From that time when tribesmen sought protection by having their powerful leaders name tattooed on their foreheads, John saw us protected by having the name of God tattooed on our foreheads. From two thousand years before the Internet or the first Wal-Mart, John pictured us picking what we needed right off the trees.
We might look at an alternate imaginary of the end time in “The Holy City.”
And once again the scene was changed;
New earth there seemed to be;
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea.
The light of God was on it's streets,
The gates were open wide,
And all who would might enter,
And no one was denied.
No need of moon or stars by night,
Or sun to shine by day;
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away.