This morning during my quiet time, I finished reading the last of "Fifty Passages from the Bible" that were printed on a bookmark we gave out on September 11, 2016 - the day we dedicated our new buildings. Dr. Tom Tewell preached that Sunday, and this was his list of fifty recommended readings from the Bible. (You can still pick up this bookmark in the Church Office.) I have enjoyed reading through these. Tom has a great sense of which passages in the Bible everyone should read. This was the last passage on the list from Revelation 21:1-5a:
Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death'or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"
Revelation is a challenging book to understand, but many believe this is a picture of when heaven and earth will finally come together, and everything will be as it should be. Presently, there is so much pain and suffering in our world. We all long for a time when these things will end: when God will dwell among us, God will rule lovingly over all of creation, and everything will be made new!
So, what do we do until then? We wait. We hope. Yet, our waiting is not passive. We actively "lean into" God's future. And we live our lives here and now -- doing what we can to make our part of this world what it will one day be completely.