Then I 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. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And 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;
he 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.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”
This passage is part of the ecstatic vision of John, received on the island of Patmos, of the coming and indwelling Realm of God. Literal readings of the Book of Revelation are almost always distractions from the deep and profound hope that is lodged in these chapters. In approaching this book, and passages like the above, one must loosen the moorings of literalism and trust oneself to the sea of Truth that is beyond reason.
Questions for Reflection:
1. Meditate on the verse: “See, I am making all things new.” Newness here is not mere refreshment or refurbishment but an altogether different reality that breaks into our present reality. What is being made new, today, in your life? Where do you see signs of newness in the world? At Plymouth Church?
2. The Holy City of Jerusalem is a symbol for the Realm of God. How would people treat one another in such a city? What prevents us from treating one another like that today? If you were to live as if that city were already present, what would change about you?
3. In what ways may it be said that “The home of God is among mortals?”