As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to recenter my scattered senses upon the presence of God.
Lord, please help me to be still and listen for what you have to say to me in these quiet moments.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
These words, written by the Apostle John in the late first century, represent a vision of the future, modeled on God’s work in the past, (Creation and the Exodus). The ultimate image of New Jerusalem is one that sounds pretty appealing right now. After 2020, we all long for “no more death or mourning or crying or pain.”
The good news is, John was also writing about the current time, both his and ours. John had witnessed God, in Jesus, “make his dwelling place among the people.” If you think God is waiting until some future time to make everything new, you are missing out on the goodness of today. We are not meant to only look to the future for our hope. We get to participate in the newness of today. We have the opportunity and responsibility to work with God to make things new in our own lives, in our own world.
This is a new year, a new day. Reflect on the ways you can participate in making things new, right now. How can you join God in this effort?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
God, Thank you for the reminder that you are making all things new today and every day. Guide me to join you in your efforts. Show me my role in revealing your kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. Give me the courage and wisdom to follow your will for my life. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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