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. Rev. 21:1
Dear heavenly Father, as fresh coffee helps me transition from a good night’s sleep into a new day’s mercies, so your Word is quickening all of my senses. As you greet me this morning with your steadfast love (Lam. 3:22-24), I can hear a storm brewing outside. Falling rain, peals of thunder, flashes of lighting—they all connect me with John’s hope-filled vision of our storm-less, chaos-devoid, evil-emptied future.
I praise you that this very cosmos you created, this beautiful and broken earth I call home, the mountains of Switzerland and the beaches of the Florida Gulf, special places to me—it’s all been bought back by Jesus. I praise you that even as you’re presently redeeming your big family from the nations, so you’re restoring the world in which you’ve placed us.
As surely as the waters cover the sea, so the knowledge of your glory will cover the earth one day (Hab. 2:14). The “passing away” of the first heaven and the first earth doesn’t speak of its replacement but of its restoration; not its incineration but its purification; not its annihilation but its glorification—to which I shout a very loud “Hallelujah!”
I smile really, really big when I try to imagine the glorified beaches of the new heaven and new earth. I can hardly wait for the Day when I get to hear “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'” (Rev. 5:13).
Indeed, Father, John’s vision is not about a “beach-less” future but about a “sea-less” one—an eternity and a world delivered and devoid of all chaos and evil—no more sea beasts, only beauty; no more angry leviathan, only dancing dolphin; no more tempest, only the triumph of the Lamb!
I can only imagine such a glorious state of affairs. But may John’s vision compel and propel us to engage in the multiple stories of redemption you are writing all around us, not retreat; to show up with courage, not disappear in fear; to be filled with missional hope and gospel-servanthood as we seek first your kingdom and the righteousness that is by faith. You WILL bring to completion every good work you have begun. So very Amen I pray, in the name of our resurrected and reigning King, Jesus.