Can you imagine what life would look like if we could just start over again? I mean start over from scratch. Get rid of all the bad things from smog to crime to death. Just in the blink of an eye make things new again. Too much to ask, is it?
Well, what if we could shrink the scale and just start fresh with our own lives? Change our ways. Purify our hearts. Think like a holy God instead of like the carnal creatures we so often seem to be. I guess maybe that seems too hard as well. We’ve been like this for too long. We don’t know how to change. Even if we had the power of God to recreate the world or ourselves, who really thinks that we’d have the wisdom to do it right?
So what do we do? Give up? Just keep trudging along with slouching shoulders and bloodshot eyes?
No way. Don’t even think about it. The overcast skies won’t be gloomy forever. We will see the Son in all His brilliance, and when He comes, He will make everything new! Consider the following passage from Revelation 21, almost at the very end of the Bible. It is one of my absolute favorites:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
(Revelation 21:1-5a ESV)
Isn’t that incredible! “All things new.” No more rottenness. No more death. No more tears or sorrow or pain. No more sin. No more oppression and greed. No more loneliness or heartaches. No more turmoil or unrest. No more decay. No more wondering about if God is really there. No more anxiety or depression. No more separation or divorce. No more eating disorders. No more disinheritance. No more frailness. No more uncertainties. No more destruction or corruption. No more good-byes or tragic losses. Not any more.
Because God is making all things new. We don’t know how to do it. In fact, we can’t do it. Not on our own. We can’t change the world and we can’t change ourselves, but God can. God is. And when God is finished, all will be new again!
I praise you, God, because you are both holy and welcoming. You made all things good in the beginning, but we made of mess of things through our sinfulness. And then you sent Jesus your Son, and we crucified him for telling us the truth about your judgment and your grace–for telling us that newness begins inside of us before it can ever change the world around us. And you still haven’t left us behind. You continue to prepare a new time, a new place, a new existence, a new consciousness in which you will live with us again in a new way. This is something I don’t understand, but it is something I believe. So please, God, come quickly. Make all things new! Destroy death and blot all our tears not only from our eyes but also from our memories. Let us be your children–your people–forever and ever.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.