HOPE IN OUR WORLD
Read: Revelation 19:5-9, 21:1-6
“5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!”6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (NIV Revelation 19:5-9)
1 “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.2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 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. 4 ‘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.”5 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.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (NIV Revelation 21:1-6)
Study: Many people think Revelation is bleak and scary—but near its end, the vision pictured God’s restored world as a joyous wedding banquet! (In Bible times, wedding banquets were an even bigger deal than today’s receptions.) The vision rolled on to end in Paradise restored. With images from the prophet Isaiah as well as the Genesis creation stories, it showed the world as God meant it to be—no pain, suffering or death. In Revelation 21, “the one seated on the throne” made a resonant promise to our broken, hurting world: “I’m making all things new.” Every day natural disasters, illnesses, some large or small part of the economy going south or the world scene getting more chaotic can make it feel as though the news is trying to snuff out hope. In whom do you place your confidence that “the worst thing is never the last thing”? Do you trust that Jesus meant it when he promised to prepare a place for us so that we can be with him forever (John 14:1-3)? Can you live in hope that, in the end, God will win?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I yearn for the day when you will make all things new. Keep renewing me inside, empowering me to live with trust and hope in a world painfully short of both. Amen.