Friday, November 28, 2014

Nov. 28, 2014 Friday: 34th Week in Ordinary A

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. (Revelation 21:1)

Heaven is hard to imagine, isn’t it? A gigantic throne, emerald rainbows, crystalline rivers, an enormous sea of glass, and streets of gold—these are some stunning images that both reveal and veil the glory that is God’s eternal home. That’s because something so awe inspiring can’t be described adequately in words. So what does John mean when he speaks of a “new heaven”?

The answer is that the heaven of John’s vision isn’t new, but it is improved—because of us! Every time heaven gets a new saint, a little more glory is added. And when the last saint arrives, heaven will be “new” because the spotless Church will finally be ready for her bridegroom. Can you imagine all those saints together? Such marvelous splendor, and all of it a reflection of the ultimate splendor coming from Jesus the King!
But back to us. We are “new” as well. As Paul wrote, in Christ we are a “new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Of course, we know we aren’t ready to meet the bridegroom yet. But the Holy Spirit, whom we have received, is the first installment on our heavenly dwelling. So while we are on earth, we may feel a bit like renters who have put a down payment on their first home. We can’t wait to get there!

With that in mind, try not to focus on the old in your prayer today, but on the new. No, you’re not perfect yet. But Jesus certainly is, and his Spirit lives in you! As you come before him in worship, let him give you a glimpse of your heavenly home. Let this glimpse move you out into the world with the good news that everyone can become a new creation. Remember: every person who enters the kingdom makes heaven that much more stunning!

“Father, thank you for the privilege of worshipping at your throne! In your presence I have the fullness of joy. Keep working in me so that I can draw more and more people into your new creation.”

Word Among Us