At the end of every Passover Seder, the Jewish diaspora pronounce the wistful prayer: “Next year in Jerusalem.” It is the deep longing for the promised, peaceful Messianic Jerusalem with a restored Temple—a profound wish that the next year be a happy one.
It seems to me that Christians ought also to say, “Next year in Jerusalem!” rather than wishing one another a “Happy New Year.” For we have come to know the Messiah and he has given us a glimpse of what we long for:
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”… (Revelation 21:2-4)
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it… (Revelation 21:22-24)
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:3-5)
O Jerusalem! “Happy New Year” is such an empty wish in this age. But the new Jerusalem is coming. And don’t you hope that it is soon?
O Jesus, you promised, “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20). Yes, Lord! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
Next year in Jerusalem!