Then 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; 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 first things have passed away.”
After considering this verse, I thought: how dated. A woman getting ready for her husband was difficult to wrap my head around. I have not been married and have worked since 12. Having spent a year wearing work boots for my job at Costco, beautifying for a husband is far from my mind.
Yet, in the TV Show, “What Not to Wear”, a person is made to stand in front of 3-part mirror in their favorite casual outfits for work and defend them. The hosts and audience see videos made surreptitiously. In comments, we learn how the outfits do not fit the career the person has. Encouraged, they throw their old wardrobe in the garbage in exchange for a $5,000 coached shopping spree. Thus, a New Exterior is created. Just as the verse describes an outdated bride getting beautiful for her husband, the world has become outdated. Wars have been waged since Cain and Abel, we have horrifying diseases, and seas are drying up. All appears chaos.
The verse is hopeful for a future where Heaven and Earth renew – a New Jerusalem will come down to re-dress the earth. The Earth will be beautiful again; sadness will be gone because there will be no death or sin. The world will be transformed into a better version – the old world discarded like old clothes. Coached by God, we will heal once and for all. The wrongs will be gone, the creative being who built the world has re-built it to live with us forevermore.
We pray and hope for new and better humans and earth. May we be healed of our ills. May we live in Peace, Natural Beauty, and Love for each other, with God. Amen.