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 heard 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 21:1–5
Living in the time of COVID-19, when so many have died or have lost loved ones, we hope for the day when death will be no more, and God will wipe away every tear. As followers of Christ, we are a people of hope and we long to see this new world.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and martyr who stood up against the Nazi regime during World War II, was adamant about his hope in God: “Who would even want to speak of God without hoping to see God one day? Who would want to talk about peace or love among people without wanting to experience them one day in eternity? Who would want to talk about a new world and a new humanity without hoping that we would share in it? And why should we be ashamed of our hope? One day we will have to be ashamed not of our hope but of our pitiful and fearful hopelessness which believes God is capable of very little, and in false humility does not act where God’s promises are given. Such hopelessness gives up in this life and is not capable of looking forward to God’s eternal power and glory. Hope does not disappoint us. The more person dares to hope, the greater that person becomes with God’s hope. People grow with their hope, if only it is hope in God and God’s power alone.”
Lord, you have given us the gift of hope in Christ that does not disappoint us because your love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. May we continue to place our hope in you to make all things new. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Shalom: The Way to Hope
Written by Susan Rheem and Ivy Lopedito