Saturday, May 1, 2010

God's Will Be Done

A part of our Lord's Revelation to John the Apostle that we'll be reading at worship tomorrow morning:
21 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.
What does that mean?  There is a lot that can be said.  But, just to whet your appetite, here's part of a commentary by Brian Peterson, Professor of New Testament at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC:
God will wipe away every tear (verse 4a). This is surely one of the most moving images in scripture. The connection to the former things passing away (verse 4b) is crucial here. The promise is not only that God will wipe away any tears that might happen to linger on our cheeks after that Last Day, but that God will reach back through time to wipe away all the pained tears ever shed.

God will not just comfort us and help us to forget the bad things, but God will redeem the whole sorry story of human history. This is part of the deep hope of apocalyptic texts: salvation cannot come for me, in its full sense, as long as the terrible effects of my sins continue to ripple through the world... The promise here is that the chain reaction of human sin will be ended, and all the tears will be wiped away. The tears that God must wipe away are not only the tears we shed, but also the tears we cause.
We do not need to wait until we get to heaven.  The time for deliverance is now!  Lift up a suffering friend or family member to the Lord tonight!  If you can, go to them with others that care.  Gently touch their heads or shoulders and pray that they will know how precious they are in God's eyes.  Pray God's best now.  And keep praying.  This is God's will, made possible when Jesus took our all our sins to his cross and rose victorious to give us a new life.

Will you pray with me?
Father God, come and begin wiping tears now through your precious promises.  Through your Holy Spirit, come and do your work.  Your will be done on earth as in heaven. Bring suffering ones we name before you out of the scarred past and into the light of your presence now.  Give them a glimpse of your forever and ever love.  Begin and continue and complete your healing work. In Jesus' name.

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