Have you ever gone through a time in your life where you sensed the old was passing and the new was taking shape? Perhaps not just circumstances, but it also could include God calling you to live in a new way and pass from old behaviors. Those changing times can give us a glimpse into the meaning of our second reading today.
In that passage, John sees a holy city coming down from heaven from God, like a bride adorned for her husband. He hears a loud voice that God will dwell with His people, always be with them, and wipe away every tear from their eyes. In his vision, there is no more pain, sickness, or death. The old passes away. God is making all things new.
Then, shortly after this passage in the next chapter, John sees a river of the water of life flowing from God’s throne, and on both sides of the river is a tree of life bearing fruit for healing.
Dying to old life and living in the newness God is bringing to our lives now and at the end of time is the essence of the message here. The text doesn’t say “will make,” it says “makes.” He’s already started the work. Creation reveals this truth to us each spring. Just this week, I noticed the trees exploding in all green at a nearby park, giving me a glimpse of how God makes all things new, alive, and fruitful again and again.
He does the same for us.
As we mourn our losses, go through pain, shed our tears, trudge through difficulties, and soften our “rougher edges,” God is making all things new. We eventually pass through those things. We eventually see and experience a flowing river of God’s love, mercy and goodness, and a tree of life growing in our midst. The tree of life carries our healing. This passage is full of hope.
Today, ask yourself: How is God making all things new in your life? What old are you passing from? How is the flowing river nurturing that growth? What tree of life is blooming in your midst, and how is it bringing you healing?