Scripture: Rev. 21:1–8
Key verses: (1-2) 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, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Reflection: The book of Revelation provides us with a glimpse of how things will turn out at the end of time. That time will be the fulfillment of the plea we make each time we say the Lord’s Prayer: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In Revelation, at the end of this age, God’s kingdom (and God’s will) is established here on earth, where we live.
Throughout much of Christian history, however, we have used the language of going up to heaven when we die. At the end of life, we imagine, we will leave this place, going up into heaven where we’ll be with God. Heaven is up there. We leave this earth to get there.
But the visual image in Revelation is quite the opposite. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. But the new reality will not be up in heaven. The new reality will be heaven—the new Jerusalem—coming down to earth. We don’t go up to be with God. God comes down and resides with us! God will dwell with us and will make all things new.
In this new earth God will wipe every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more.
In the end God will complete what God began in the Garden of Eden—the creation of a place where humans live in peace with each other and with God.
That is what awaits us at the end—a new heaven and a new, God-filled earth.
Prayer: Father in heaven, how great is your name! May your kingdom come among us. May your will be done among us—here and now on earth—as it already is in heaven. We pray in the name of the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].