It is a strange vision of a city that is out of this world. Carefully measured and described with twelve gates of pearl, walls of jasper, streets of gold and foundations adorned with jewels, with names that will twist the tongue of Sunday’s lectors, the vision is intended to impress. Written to those suffering the pain of persecution it must have seemed a dream too good to be true. But the vision went beyond the immediate need for rescue and redemption. For those who longed for Jerusalem’s ruined temple to be rebuilt God and the Lamb will be in plain sight and no curtain will hide the Holy of Holies. There will be no need of sun or moon, or gates shut to keep out the danger that lurks in the dark, for all that threatens and practices falsehood will be banished. And the twelve tree forest will heal the world’s warring madness so that all that follows in the wake of war, pestilence and plague and famine and death, will be forever erased from the human lexicon. It may be a vision of the future but it came from someone who in this world longed for the “out of this world” reality that only peace can bring. We might have to wait for the city to come down but there is no reason we cannot be building the foundation today by dreaming the dream and casting the vision while working to make this world look a little more like the next. That really would be out of this world.