Cities in the ancient world symbolized a coming together of diverse peoples and diverse dreams. True, they could be fodder for idolatry, as happens in the Tower of Babel. The people gathered “to build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens” (Genesis 11:4). When people worshiped their tower, not God, things ended badly.
Still, the destruction of a city occasioned sharp lamentation in the biblical world (Psalms 79, 137; Lamentations), and Jesus lamented Jerusalem’s fate (Matthew 23:37–39; Luke 13:34–35). Indeed, Revelation closes with the vision of “the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:2).
From “Abundant Blessing” by Martha E. Stortz, from the June 2014 Gather magazine. Today we remember Monica, mother of Augustine, who died 387.