One of the alternative texts for Day 1 of this summer's "Living in God's Time" curriculum is the following. Day 1 is the day campers will learn and reflect on the season of Advent, as we study the seasons of the church year.
Reading: Revelation 21:1-7
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)
What do you make of this? Put those two texts together and there could be a bit of confusion and challenge.
I have used the Revelation image so often in my career—especially in funeral sermons. The images from John’s revelation comfort so many grieving folks as they deal with the loss of a loved one. The loved one is now in the presence of God and all things are new. The ho-humness of life and perhaps even the pain of dying has passed and God makes a brand new life for the one we love and miss. Isn’t that comforting?
But I find that God is making things new in this life, too. The writer of Ecclesiastes is right in a sense, a pessimistic sense that things just go on, again and again. Life is as it is. “Que sera, sera.” And we could live that way. Sometimes we do. But then, a new relationship: thanks be to God. Then, a new being: thanks be to God. Then, a new beginning: thanks be to God. A new song: thanks be to God. A new way to understand something: thanks be to God. A new year: thanks be to God. A new place: thanks be to God. New health: thanks be to God. A new ________________________ (you fill in the blank.) Thanks be to God.
Pray that you can see God making things new in the midst of your life today. --Jim Bricker, Camp Mount Luther Summer Chaplain to the Staff
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