Sunday, January 6, EPIPHANY

Look, I am making everything new!

Candle Lighter:I saw a new heaven…”
Response: “…and a new earth.”

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-7

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

Reader:  The word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
The Hebrew Bible opens with the account of creation. At the end of each day God said, “it was good” and on the sixth day, he said it was “very good.”  You may have noticed that at the end of each of the six days it says “it was evening and it was morning.” But, on the seventh day, the Sabbath, neither of those phrases are used. God says nothing in regards to goodness and nothing about evening and morning. Why? In the book of Hebrews we read that the Israelites never entered a sabbath rest because of unbelief. It would seem that God’s people have yet to enter his rest. In a nutshell there is no “good or very good” pronounced by God and there is no “evening and morning” on the seventh day because the Sabbath has not yet ended. John describes in this passage the bringing of a new, holy, perfect heaven and earth made so by the blood of the Lamb. God is returning to his people, as in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve prior to the Fall. The perfect world has been restored. Death, sin, evil are all defeated and gone forever. There will not be another rebellion against God as in the Garden. God makes all things new! And here we have the great words echoing the words of Jesus from the cross, “It is finished! I am Alpha and Omega―the Beginning and the End, in other words, evening and morning. The Day of the Lord is complete, it has ended! Like the relationship between Adam and Eve and the Lord God in the Garden of Eden, God says, “I will be their God and they will be my children.” As believers, we have been washed pure by the blood of the Lamb and experience a perfect transparency with the Lord, even as did Adam in the Garden prior to the Fall. That Tree of Life mentioned in Genesis three appears here again in Revelation twenty-two (v.2,14). This time the tree is a source of food for eternal life. Evil, sin, and death are defeated and forever separated from God’s glorious Kingdom. Those who have been redeemed enjoy eternity in the presence of God. In the meantime, we await his Return. “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Music: “How Did I Make It Over?”   Jubilant Sykes

My Lord, how grateful we are that you have, in your word, shown us with perfect clarity the beginning, middle, and end of creation and where we, as your children, fit in. Sometimes it is overwhelming to try to grasp the depth of your love and the whole of your plan, the perfect creation borne out of love, the fall borne of rebellion, the redemption borne out of mercy, grace, and love, and restoration borne out of  faithfulness and love. Thank you, Father, for your infallible, authoritative, inerrant word that brings truth and light and the Savior. Thank you for what it tells of you and what it shows us about ourselves. Thank you that it is living and speaks to listening ears and hearts that are open. Thank you, God, for your great love and salvation. We look forward with great anticipation to spending eternity in your presence with the host of heaven and all the faithful who have gone before. Glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen!
Daniel Sharp

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