1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “All is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will freely give water from the life-giving spring. 7 Those who emerge victorious will inherit these things. I will be their God, and they will be my sons and daughters.
Perhaps you have experienced or can imagine going into a home that you previously lived in, now under new ownership. The new owners have destroyed that kitchen that you loved and knocked down walls. They have added state of the art appliances and a wonderful dining area. The transformation is amazing! The outside of your old home is totally unrecognizable, so you almost drove right past it. The front door has been relocated, they added a porch, the siding is totally different, and the landscaping has been completely changed. The renovations are miraculous inside and out! You thought everything was fine when you lived there but WOW! You think to yourself, “If it had looked like this when we lived here, I never would have left.”
This apocalyptic book of the Bible is filled with imagery that pushes our imagination to its limits. “Look! I’m making all things new.” – even you and even me. Through Christ, we are newborns, filled with possibility to be all that God has created us to be.
By Kathleen Stolz
For Pondering & Prayer
As apocalyptic literature, Revelation pushes us to use our imaginations rather than to be read literally. Read and re-read these verses from Revelation 21: 1-7, letting your imagination take you where the Spirit is leading you. Where are you in this image of a new heaven and new earth? We read what the writer sees, but what do YOU see? Take some time in prayerful contemplation about the endless possibilities of what God holds for your future.
From current media reports, we know something of the troubles that currently face Jerusalem in the 21st century. What future do you imagine God has for a New Jerusalem?