*From Seven Days of Compassion: A Devotion Nazarene Compassion Ministries.
“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 hear 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.” Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” REVELATION 21:1-6 (NRSV)
God, who in the beginning created all things good, is now at the end making all things new. God’s ultimate vision is restoration. The suffering and injustice of our broken world find healing and wholeness in the eternal Kingdom. We have been invited to participate in this renewing work as we live compassionately and pursue God’s ultimate vision through relationships with God and with others.
God is not waiting to make all things new one day far from now. God is making things new today. And our actions today matter into eternity. If we allow, God will use our compassion to make things new. If we allow, God will use our efforts at bringing about justice to make things new. If we allow, God will work through our reconciled relationships to make things new.
In Surprised by Hope, theologian N.T. Wright says, “The whole point of what Jesus was up to was that he was doing close up, in the present, what he was promising long term in the future. And what he was promising for that future and doing in the present was not saving souls for a disembodied eternity but rescuing people from the corruption and decay of the way the world presently is so they could enjoy, already in the present, that renewal of creation which is God’s ultimate purpose — and so they could thus become colleagues and partners in that large project.”
God, You are the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End. All life starts from You and ends with You. Give us glimpses of Your ultimate vision so that we are moved to join in the present renewal. May we partner with You as You usher heaven into earth. Amen.
• Spend time in prayer asking God to reveal God’s vision of the Kingdom to you.
• Consider the ways God has brought newness in your own live, and offer thanks.
• For an entire day, pay attention to your interactions with other people. How can God use your relationships to offer restoration and newness?
• Commit to pray the Lord’s Pray each day for a month and see what God reveals to you about specific ways you can participate in the building of God’s Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.
• Come together as a church to study teachings on Kingdom values to encourage spiritual growth and compassionate engagement in your community and around the world.