Zion’s Gate

Tuesday, September 24

9-24By Glenn Johnson of Covina, California, USA

Heed the urgent call to become a global family united in the name of Christ, committed in love to one another, seeking the kingdom for which you yearn and to which you have always been summoned. That kingdom shall be a peaceable one and it shall be known as Zion.

—Doctrine and Covenants 161:6b

On a recent business trip to Israel, I asked a colleague for a ride to Jerusalem. He dropped me by the Jaffa Gate. When I arrived it was dark. It had been a few years since I had navigated the narrow streets, but I managed to find my way past the Cardo to the Western Wall. A crowd had recently dispersed after some sort of concert or rally. I felt I had missed something important.

On my way back, I made a wrong turn. The Jaffa Gate was not in sight. I turned right. I came to another gate. I went through and read the sign: “Zion’s Gate.” My mind raced as I considered whether this hill really was “Mount Zion,” a beacon of the present and future kingdom of God for my faith community.

I explored the streets nearby and found Hagia Zion, or Holy Zion Church, and the Jewish Yeshiva Institute for the Preservation of Holy Mount Zion. Beyond a barbwire fence, I saw the minaret of a mosque. Despite all hopes for peace, Jerusalem remained a city divided. Yet from this new vantage point on Zion’s holy hill, the city’s outer walls were an apparition in golden light.

Jesus spoke of basileia tou theou, the kingdom of God, as a present reality and a hoped-for future. My unexpected nighttime discovery of Zion helped me to understand better Jesus’ teachings. As we work together as an imperfect yet transforming community, let us always see the cause of Zion as tangible, real communities to be celebrated and experienced, as well as future ideals toward which we can strive.

Prayer for Peace
Gather us in, O God, in closeness to your peaceable kingdom. Help us become a community that embraces Christ’s mission of peace.

Spiritual Practice: The International Community
Find (or imagine) a globe or map of the world. Look at all the nations and find a country other than your own. Notice the geographic distance between your homeland and this one. Picture a person living there. Pray for this person. Sense God’s love connecting you just as the oceans connect the continents. Thank God for the spiritual connection you have with all of God’s people around the globe. Ask a blessing on the church as a community sharing Christ’s peace, drawing all into the family of God.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will work for the reality of the peaceable kingdom.

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1 Comment

  1. Carolyn Brock

     /  24 September 2013

    Wonderful reflections today, Glenn. Thank you. I was on that walk with you, seeing the beauty and feeling the hope that continues to pull us toward God’s vision. And thanks, as always, Lu, for tying everything together so well.

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