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.”
This is an incredible promise for our future, one that we can only partially realize in this time. We get a taste of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit within us, but we are so easily distracted. Our ears get plugged and our vision fogged. What a joy it will be to live in God’s dwelling place, linked integrally with our God! How could there possibly be any mourning or pain or crying or death, because to live in God’s presence is to experience joy and peace and love and eternal life. There won’t be room for anything else. I’ve been to some beautiful weddings in my time, but God’s promise for a new heaven and new earth is beyond our wildest imaginings. And it is true; a promise we can trust in. Praise God!
Gracious God, we pray for those whose eyes are tear-filled this holiday season, who are sad, lonely or afraid. We praise you for your promises that one day the tears will be gone, for we will rejoice in your presence. Make us new through faith in our savior, for your words are trustworthy and true. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.