Saturday 23 August, 2014
Revelation 21:1-4, 22-27
GOD'S RE-CREATION AND FULFILLMENTI saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.’(vss 2-3a)
This summer we went to the wedding of our god-daughter. She looked as beautiful and radiant as every bride should be; the sun shone; and family and friends celebrated with great joy this new step along the way for the marital couple. The bride had planned and prepared just about everything. It was all well organised and supervised, revised and tweaked, so that a good time was had by all. Insofar as any human endeavour could be, it was perfect.
Perfection is our goal and our destiny. As Joni Mitchell tells us in her song ‘Woodstock’, ‘We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden’. The desire for a return to Eden, for a world of peace and love and eternal dwelling with God, is part of the restlessness of human nature. The sense of loss and of imperfection is deeply engrained in us. The Book of Revelation gives us a vision of the restored creation: Eden revisited, restored and renewed – the perfect garden. It is what God has planned and is preparing for us and towards which we journey.
In the meantime, though, we have responsibilities. We are required take care of and work the garden that is the here and now. We have to prepare, like a bride, for the biggest day of our lives – the day when we are reunited with God. We know that God’s unconditional love is there for us whatever, but our response to that needs to be to strive for perfection so that we come to him joyful and excited as a bride
Prayer † Lord, give me joy as I labour and prepare for the day when I will return home to you. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.