All Things New (Revelation 21:1-5)

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“Behold! I make all things new.”

That phrase has been with me all day and I don’t know why. Heck, if I’m honest it took a bit of tracking down; I thought it was in the gospels but it’s actually from Revelation, and it turns out I was searching in the NIV for the KJV version of the verse. Frankly I’m amazed WordPress doesn’t take the keys to this blog from me.

“Behold! I make all things new.”

It’s a beautiful promise. I hear it said in a quiet voice that somehow drowns out the imagery of noise and confusion and blood and fire that makes up so much of Revelation. This is how the Story ends – with a new Story being told. In its own way, Revelation is as much about beginnings as Genesis. God puts right what once went wrong and Heaven and Earth are restored.

That vast, cosmic restoration is awe-inspiring, certainly, but it follows a more intimate, paternal image; this holy, omnipotent God stooping to wipe away the tears of his people. These huge ideas are thrown into relief by that image of love and tenderness. This is who God is.

I need to hear that, because there are times I don’t trust God. I know he loves me as one of 7 billion people running around the planet, but can I accept that he’s there for me specifically? Not always, and it’s when I most need to have that sort of faith that I find it most difficult. The bad things out there seem bigger and more real than God’s inclination to do anything about them.

“Behold! I make all things new.”

And yet this is the gospel: things are messed up, and yet rather than leaving us to deal with that mess on our own, God actively enters into it. That’s why the Incarnation is so important; that’s why Revelation climaxes with a King on His cosmic throne who nevertheless lives among his people and wipes the tears from their eyes. And that’s not just corporate, it’s personal.

I have to trust that a God who can remake the universe can do something similar. I have to trust that he will fight – win – some battles on behalf of me and my family. I have to trust that he’s there when we need him because he’s already here every day.

And I have to trust that we don’t have to be slaves to our circumstances, our enemies, our history, our assumptions. It’s easy to become prisoners of same-old-same-old, but sometimes we need to take a step of faith and believe that things can be different – that God will make them different.

Do I believe that? Can I?

“Behold! I make all things new.”

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One thought on “All Things New (Revelation 21:1-5)

  1. Pingback: Sarah Laughs (Genesis 18:1-15) | The Left Hand of Ehud: Matt's Bible Blog

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