“Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:5b) For all the disappointment, all the disconnection, all the lost things that 2020 under-delivered on; who else wants a fresh start? A redo on the year that wasn’t?
Unfortunately, I cannot give that. And I’m not sure if God would either. But why not? I mean isn’t God a good god who can do whatever is desired? Yes, our God is a good god. One who can however that doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing for us. Consider Jesus’ words, “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or a child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask!” (Mt 7:9-11) So why not re-do a year? Isn’t that too much to ask for?
The book of Revelation tells a vision of the world where God is worshipped alone. Not Caesar. Not even the wicked one. God alone! And does God say, “Let’s just re-do everything. Re-do all creation.” No, because it’s not about redos. God is gracious and can give second, third, and many more chances. Yet, God would rather remake all things. God would rather have us remember how things were and embrace another chance instead of redoing it.
“Then I saw a new heaven and new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is among mortals… (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, because the first things have passed away.’ ” (Rev 21:1a, 3a, 4)
In 2020, we all had times of weeping, crying, and pain. How many of us were affected by job loss or illness or isolation stress? Do we really want to just redo that? Or would we rather see God even in those depressing times, learn thankfulness for the good things God has done and is doing, and join God in the act “making all things new.” (v 5b)
Then may 2021 find us embracing the renewal of all things.
Let us embrace one another with the new experiences, the new jobs, the new friendships, the new adventures, the new hope of a world remade by God. So, as this pandemic comes to an end (however long that might be), may we not redo our old lives. Rather, may we experience the renewal of all things! May we experience God among us. And may we seek out a reality in which we live our lives worshipping only our God. Amen