Christmas Devotionals – 12/16

By Ben Howes
Rev. 21:1-6

It’s interesting how Christmas falls at the end of the year.  In many ways it’s a reset button in preparation for the new year.  Christmas is a time when people tend to be a little more giving, more understanding, more helpful and more hopeful.  The new year lies before us untouched like a layer of freshly fallen snow.  We project our dreams (and resolutions) upon this future with the hope that we may be bettered by what lies ahead.  Ultimately, Christmas is a time when divinity takes the form of humanity and a new paradigm is set for man’s relationship with God… Emmanuel, God with us.  Today’s passage talks about a time when man will be with God. 

On the Isle of Patmos, John looks prophetically into the future and sees “a new heaven and a new earth”.  He hears a voice declaring “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”  We’re immediately struck with a parallel between the Christmas story and this future revelation.  However, this time God isn’t coming to earth in the form of an infant.  It can be implied from the text that the essence of the Godhead… Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will be working together to “make all things new”, eliminating tears and pain and mourning and even death.  The paradigm will shift again and all things will be made new once and for all.
This passage is a beacon of hope in times like our own.  It’s easy to cast an unsettled glance at the world today with all of its fears, anxieties, antagonists, and darkness.  It can often seem overwhelming following along with the news or getting lost in the endless social media back-and-forth.  It’s in times like these that this passage is especially hopeful.  The world has always been broken and it will always be broken until it is made new.  In Jesus we have assurance that our brokenness will be made new and our souls will be at peace with God.  Imagine that feeling of newness and peace extrapolated to the entire world.  Every tribe, every tongue, and every people (yes, even Michiganders) will join together to worship our great God.  Weapons will be beat into plowshares.  The lion will lay down with the lamb.  The promise of Christmas will be kept.
In the mean time, it is up to us to carry His truth and seek first His Kingdom.  The world needs the hope and joy of Jesus now more than ever and when we lift Him up from the earth He will draw all people to Himself.  So to summarize, don’t lose hope and don’t stop preparing the way of the Lord.  We can, like John, look into the future and see redemption rather than ruin.  Our Savior has been born, He has died, He has risen, He has won, and He is making all things new.