Dave Robertson is the Director of Community Life at The Church of the Resurrection’s West Campus. (Dave first shared this reflection on Revelation 21 on July 26, 2014.)
I love the passage from Revelation 21:5 which says, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” One of the reasons I love these words is they are recorded at the end of our Bible and because of what happened at the beginning of the Bible.
Dennis Garvin says it this way, “The last Bible I looked at contained over 2000 pages, and you humans managed to get yourself kicked out of Paradise by page 5. That has to be some kind of record.” God set us up for paradise with God and yet that wasn’t good enough for us. We now get to taste what life outside of paradise is like while ever longing for what was lost. While we seek and strive for the Kingdom of God, we receive from God glimpses from time to time to show us what it is like. We also have God’s trustworthy, true promises to stand on.
One such time I received a glimpse was when I was in college. I never knew my grandparents, three of whom died before I was born. After my mother’s death, my father remarried and my step-mother’s parents were still living. I considered them grandparents. I was in college when my step-grandmother, Honey (her nickname) died. I had a three-hour drive back home and I remember being sad about her loss. I wasn’t thinking of anything in particular when all of a sudden, as I was driving, the Spirit of joy filled my mind and body. For a brief glimpse I felt like I was experiencing what Honey was experiencing–the pure joy of salvation and paradise with God. I believe God had made her new with a new spiritual body. I also believe God to be at work in this world making it new, getting us back to where God originally designed us.
This experience has lingered in my soul these 30 years. I long for that time of getting to once again experience that level of joy, but am also grateful for the chance to experience it already in that small moment in time. It was truly a down payment and a foretaste of heaven.
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