A Time of Renewal
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, 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, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
- Revelation 21:1 – 5
The great promise held out in Jesus’ second coming is that Jesus returns to make all things new. He comes to reverse sickness and death. He comes to defeat evil and banish darkness. He comes to usher in a new creation that sorrow cannot enter. He comes to wipe away tears and end loneliness, for God himself will be with us as our God.
Almost every Christmas I take my daughter to The Nutcracker at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center. One reason I do this is to connect with her during the Advent season, but the other reason is to catch a glimpse of the great renewal that is coming for us when Jesus returns.
If you are familiar with The Nutcracker, you may know what I am talking about. There is a part in the ballet where evil surges. The Rat King and his menacing minions threaten to destroy Clara and her innocence forever. But then Clara’s Nutcracker magically comes to life and defeats evil decisively and finally. After this moment, Clara and her Nutcracker begin a magical journey together into an enchanted kingdom. They are unafraid as they journey because the danger is over and in the past. They are in awe as they look at the new world around them because everything is magical – snowflakes dance and trees sparkle with life. Finally, Clara and her Nutcracker are at perfect peace because they are being led, protected and served by the radiant Sugar Plum Fairy, who draws near to bless them.
It isn’t an accident that The Nutcracker has found enduring popularity during the Advent season. It is more than a ballet to take children to during the cold days of December. It is a peek behind the curtain. It is a chance to glimpse the great renewal that Jesus will one day bring.
We long for glimpses of this great renewal because our world isn’t what it should be. War, neglect, abuse, poverty, sin and greed are all part of our story. But one day the magic will happen. One day Jesus will come, and we will walk together with him into his enchanted kingdom of goodness, beauty and life.
This week of Advent we are going to reflect on the great renewal Jesus brings when he comes again. The idea for this week is that Jesus’ renewal of all things is really going to happen. Unlike The Nutcracker, the story of Jesus isn’t a fairytale. One day everything wrong will be put right. One day everything sad will become untrue. Jesus himself said, “Behold, I am making all things new….Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
A Moment to Reflect
What impact does it have in your soul when you remember that Jesus really will come to make all things new?