January 23: Alas, the Great City

January 23: Revelation 18:11-20

"Alas, alas, the great city, where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in one hour she has been laid waste." 

This is a haunting passage from a rather haunting book of the Bible. The destruction and devastation of these apocalyptic images reflect the dire social circumstances of the early Christians who wrote these passages. 

One theme which is consistent throughout the Bible, and throughout reflections like those of this passage, is that human kingdoms and power are fleeting. Even the most powerful and central cities and civilizations meet their end, run through the cyclical power of the world, and fade away. 

How much do we rest on the assumption that our society's advancements will be everlasting? How much do we take for granted that the systems that are in place today will always be so? Being people of faith means placing our assurances not in the structures of governments or economies, but in the kingdom of God, which can never be "laid to waste."