by Verena Johnson
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Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea (Revelation 21:1).
Only last year, the Happy Valley Reservoir in Adelaide was opened to the public. I was keen, as were many others, to finally see inside the well-fenced reserve that I have been driving past for more than 30 years. I started regularly walking there on weekends. It is a lovely place to walk, with the large expanse of water and native animals and bird life.
However, it didn’t take very long for the public to make their mark on this beautiful place. Within weeks, you could see all the litter and rubbish that people leave behind because they couldn’t be bothered taking it with them and disposing of it properly – especially in the most frequented parts of the reserve.
I sometimes think of our earth and what we human beings have done and are doing to it, and I despair. I also think of what we are doing and have done to each other. While I would love to fix this earth and the people on it, wave a magic wand or something to make it all perfect again, I know it will never happen because people are people – imperfect and sinful.
I thank God for the new heaven and new earth that is coming.
A perfect new heaven and new earth.
I try to imagine what the new heaven and earth will look like. I’ve seen pictures where people have tried to capture it, pictures people have painted who say they’ve been to heaven and come back or seen visions. Some have said we just don’t have enough colours to capture it. Others have said that it’s simply beyond our imagination and indescribable.
All I know for sure is that I will be there, God will be there, and people that have gone there before me will be there too.
So will you.
God of the universe, thank you that you will make all things new. Thank you for preparing a whole new heaven and earth for us. Help us to care for this earth and each other while we are still here. Amen.
Verena is a Church Worker Support Officer for the LCA Church Worker Support Department, where it is her privilege to support congregations, pastors, lay workers, employees and volunteers of LCA. In her spare time, she is involved in drama ministry, women’s ministry and prayer ministry. She has three children and eight grandchildren in three different states.