I’ve taken to summarizing our identity and our vocation by saying the Creator created creators to perpetuate Creation.
The image the Bible uses to describe our work with God in expanding Creation—the specifically human portion of that work—is the city. Cities are the product of our cooperation with God. In the biblical nomenclature they refer to places of imagination, vocation, and connection where humanity gathers and societies flourish. That’s why the final picture in the Bible is of the New Jerusalem, a garden-city that covers the Earth.
Unfortunately, the human project of co-Creation got off track quickly. Adam and Eve, our spiritual ancestors, abdicated their divine calling and began trying to achieve God’s gameplan without God’s involvement. Several times God tried to re-boot this plan of divine-human cooperation—with key people, in key locations, and at key moments—but it wasn’t until the birth of the Church that God finally received a people who were committed to living as the City of God amidst the cities of men.
The Church is, metaphorically, the City of God. We are not a place, but a people, and the more we study the scriptures the more we’ll realize that God’s purposes are not cyclical, but developmental. God doesn’t make us endlessly repeat life’s lessons, but leads us through a long process of maturation resulting in our final and eventual perfection. God does not mandate that we build cities so much as God requires we become a city. We are a living temple. God is both master builder and chief cornerstone. God is making us into people who can love the unlovely, enjoy wealth even when we’re poor, rejoice in the midst of suffering, and not fear death because the life of Christ lives in us now and forevermore.
Adapted from Dying For A Fix