May 2, 2018
A New Heaven and Earth
May 2, 2018
Sometimes I think about heaven — what it will be like, whether we will recognize our loved ones, whether we’ll have some sort of body, and if so, what age will it be? Will I get to live in eternity as a 25-year-old at the peak of my powers, or will I be the age at which I died? These are all questions that have no reliable answers on this side of the divide, but it doesn’t mean I’m not curious.
The passage we read from Isaiah today paints a picture of heaven on earth. The new Jerusalem that God has in mind will be free from crying, premature death, and calamity (or “horrors” as the Common English Bible translates the word). Everyone will have his or her own home and will have plenty to eat. Even nature will be redeemed — predatory carnivores like the wolf and lion will graze alongside their former prey — lambs and oxen. God will be as near to us as our own thoughts. As verse 24 states, “Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (CEB)
We are a long way from this picture of heaven on earth, but our faith reassures us it’s coming. God is creating a new heaven and a new earth — in his own time and in his own way — and we will be a part of it.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- When you read a picture of heaven on earth as is described in today’s scripture passage, what is your reaction?
- Do you have trouble believing it will ever be that way in our world or do you trust that God will somehow bring it to pass?
- How does thinking about a “new heaven and a new earth” influence your daily life?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Ask your parent or adult friend to read today’s passage for you and then draw a picture of what you imagine God’s new heaven and earth will look like. Describe your picture to your family.
Creating God, we know that you are not done with your creation yet. What is broken will be repaired, what is wounded will be healed, what is harsh and cruel will be tender and loving — all in your good time. Help us to keep this image in our hearts and mind when our current world seems beyond repair. Amen.