And the one who was seated on the throne said,
“See, I am making all things new.”
– Revelation 21:5 (NRSV)
This is one of my favorite bible verses, although I often forget about it altogether.
In Chapter 21 of Revelation, the writer has a vision of a new heaven and a new earth. God reveals a “new Jerusalem” and the one seated on the throne says “Behold, I make all things new” (RSV). It is easy to dismiss this bible verse from our lives, viewing it only as a vision applying to either the past (Jesus’ ministry on earth) or the future (some day, in heaven).
However, Jesus taught us that the kingdom of God is already within our midst, in our lives, our hearts, and our communities (Luke 17:21). Sure, it’s not perfectly complete or fully expressed the way it will be after death, in heavenly glory when we behold the face of God. Even so, the spiritual kingdom of Christ has already begun, both in the life of Jesus and in those who follow his way.
Jesus also said something else quite astonishing: that his followers would do even greater things than he did (John 14:12). Personally, I have trouble believing this is really so, but that’s what it says, right there in the bible. Christ did not come to earth just so we could maintain the status quo. God wants us to do great things–the kind of great things that Jesus did.
Is there some new work or service that God is inviting you to take up? Perhaps there is a fresh way to approach the work you already are doing, a way that would be more Christ-like?
Is there some new life the Holy Spirit wants to breathe into our faith communities? Our neighborhoods or schools? To improve how we serve others in need? To care for God’s creation around us in the environment? To spread the good news of God’s great compassion and mercy?
Will you pray with me?
Lord, sometimes it can be difficult to try new things. We may feel uncertain about what is the best choice for our future. We may be pushed to move beyond our “comfort zone.” Show us the path you desire for us, and give us the courage to follow you always, with humility, mercy, and love.
Until next time, Amen!