by Jacqui Crumrine, Associate Pastor – Worship and Arts
Growing up in a small rural town, a significant right of passage was getting your drivers license and a car. I couldn’t wait for the day that I got my drivers license. More so because I had visions of the kind of car that I would drive. My parents had teased me for years about some sort of muscle car, or truck. I had dreams of a shiny new car. So, when I walked out of my house one day and saw a rusty, oxidized mustard yellow 1974 Chevy Luv pick-up truck, my response was…unfortunately…of disgust. I believe my exact words were “What is that doing here? It is SO ugly!” My parents proceeded to tell me THAT was my new car. Immediately trying to back pedal and sound grateful, I “thanked” them. They then told me that I could get it painted, all I would have to do is sand it down. I was skeptical, but I got right to work. I can still remember the heat of the day. The sanding strokes to get the paint off. Even more, the chalky film of mustard yellow paint that covered me from head to toe. After a few days, it seemed that I had barely even scratched the surface, literally. I couldn’t see how this piece of junk was going to look any better. I was starting to give up on it, resigning myself to driving a chalky mustard yellow truck. My parents, seeing my struggle, willing to pay for it, took the truck to the pro’s. In a few weeks, a shiny cobalt blue truck rolled up, and I couldn’t have loved it more. I was thankful that my parents had a vision for how that truck would turn out, because I couldn’t see past the chalky, dented exterior. I just couldn’t see it.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we just can’t see what something can become. In fact, right now, it maybe hard to even think about tomorrow. 2020 has been filled with a threat of war, Covid-19, toilet paper shortages, quarantine, murder hornets, adventures in homeschooling, and a revolution regarding race and equality. This has probably elicited feelings of worry, concern, anxiety, anger, fear…just to name a few. There may be that sinking feeling in your gut as you ask God, “What’s next?” You just can’t see a future hope.
And here we pause. We sit. We pray. And we ask God to help us see.
It’s in these times that we have to go back to the Word and be reminded of the Hope that we have. Just before this passage, in symbolic form, the enemy is defeated, and Jesus is Victor. The beasts are punished, we are liberated from evil, and death and hell are destroyed. We pick it up in chapter 21.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!’ And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’ And he also said, ‘It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.’”
If you’re like me, this passage reads like a movie with images flashing across the screen of our minds. Reminiscent of the story of God told for centuries, coming to fulfillment in that all things are made new. Can you see it?
- In the end, the evil forces are overcome and punished. God’s intended world is a world without oppressive and dehumanizing powers.
- God has the authority to make all things new.
- In the midst of persecution, the church can have hope. In the midst of pain and suffering, they can are comforted. With false teaching tickling their ears, they are reminded of the truth.
- God has the authority…all authority…to overcome evil and to make all things new.
Can you see it?
Because if we’re honest with ourselves, maybe we can’t? Maybe we’ve forgotten the promise that God will make all things new. Or maybe we’re just worn out?
Like that 16-year-old girl sanding a rusty old truck, you’re exhausted, running out of steam, and you just can’t see how it’s going to turn out.
And that’s why we have scripture like Revelation, reminding us of the hope we have.
That’s why we have communities that pray for us, lift us up, walk with us hand in hand, to help us see.
And if you do see…it’s time to shout it out.
If you do see…it’s time to claim it.
If you do see…it’s time invite others to see that God can take all of our pain, suffering, sorrow and tears, and make all things new.
Can you see it?
“I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’ And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!”