1I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then 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 as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
Today’s comments are from a colleague of mine, Pastor Phillip Heinze, who serves Calvary Lutheran Church in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas.
No sea on the new earth? And here I was planning on boogie boarding my way through at least half of eternity. Some read this word literally and explain that the "no sea" on the new earth is to accommodate the vast multitude too great to count.
But that misses the point of the vision. The sea represents the chaos that existed before creation when the earth was formless and empty and darkness was over the surface of the deep. God's spirit hovered over the water and in the word "Let there be…" order was called forth and chaos was contained. In this creation account the chaos that threatens is not the sea (which is good news for me.) it is death, for mourning and crying and pain and tears caused by loss can make our lives formless and empty and dark.
So the new thing that God is doing here is no different from the first thing God did. In Christ crucified and risen God creates order out of chaos, life out of death, joy out of sorrow, laughter out of tears. I suppose that should be enough but I'm halfway hoping for a new sea with really big waves and the ability to walk on water so I can boogie without the board. (Living The Lectionary Blog – Phillip Heinze)
Let us Pray: For your promises to be with us in the chaos in the calm, we give you thanks. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.