One of the most meaningful moments of my life was last year at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I wasn’t supposed to, but I used my phone to record the sounds of the Jews singing as the sun set that Sabbath, marking the beginning of the Jewish new year.
I moved among them in awe, thinking about how similar our longings were: theirs for the reestablishment of the temple, for the coming of the messiah; mine for the descent of the New Jerusalem, for the return of the Messiah and the age when God will make his home with us again. When I touched the wall—closer than I’ve ever been to the place where God’s presence once dwelled—and prayed with the throng using the same words of the psalms and prophets, I wept. (I did a lot of crying in Israel.) It reminded me of Lucy climbing into the wardrobe to get back to Narnia only to find the way closed.
I wanted to see the King in the New Jerusalem so badly I literally felt a pain in my chest. At the end of Fiddler on the Roof, one of my favorite musicals, the displaced Jews say to one another, “Next year in Jerusalem.” It’s a phrase often used at the end of a Passover meal, pointing to their longing for home, and it sums up my own longing for the New Jerusalem well.
As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.