Revelation 21:1-6 (CEV)
The New Heaven and the New Earth
21 I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. 2 Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.
3 I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:
God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. 4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
5 Then the one sitting on the throne said:
I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. 6 Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.
It is not for no reason that this passage is often read at funerals. For this is a promise of how things can be, how they will be, in God’s final ultimate reign. How things will be for God’s saints when they live with him in a new place.
There will be restoration and re-creation, God will live with his people.
I love this chapter and the following one. In my darkest moments these verses have been the hope, the promise of all that had become undone being remade; all that I have lost being given back to me – water, fruiting trees, healing will all be there, in this new and special place where God lives and where I can live with him.
And all those tears, those lonely, gut-wrenching, despairing tears, will be wiped one last time, by God himself.
There will be no more reason for tears, for their causes will no longer be there.
How we long for a place where death, suffering, crying and pain are no more – and that is what God promises – in the place of his fulfilment, love and hope.
So I long for a new place. A place of life, fertility, refreshment, peace, love and God.
I long for God and his hope and promise. I long to be with him, in the here and now, but in a new place too.