I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.
I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”
The finale of the entire biblical story, poetically summed up in Revelation 21, is the vision and destiny of all creation. This great “Patmos dream” of the Apostle John is a haunting picture. When people are caught by the scent of a new heaven and earth and fix the pieces of that colourful destiny around the central figure of Jesus, lives are changed. This is nothing less than haunting, for the possibility alone of an un corrupt existence in eternity is beyond the scope of our own efforts. It is God's effort and our imaginations, rooted in Him, help us see to it. Our hearts salivate for this future because it represents the fulfillment of every human desire… if we are honest. The only way it can be described is through sketches inspired from tomorrow about how today may be transformed. Like the author, John, we need poetry for this as we proclaim it.
I often wonder what the world to come will be like and my mind wanders to a different land altogether as if my context doesn't exist there. I think this is an error. I find it more beautiful and helpful to envision the incorruptible tomorrow though the lens of the street I live on today. Properly, the tomorrow we long for does not break in to today unless the economy of tomorrow's constitution is demonstrated in the here and now. Tomorrow's economy is love and its constitution is true justice…with the loving God present in tangible terms. Even though there will be a final, miraculous, event that completely ushers in the future at Jesus' return, the ones haunted by this future – the ones that have thrown their lot in with the Jesus way – are compelled to act as if its happening now. And it is. On your street and mine. God has already begun saving it. We need to see it; we need to sketch it out.
We see only a glimmer, or a sketch of the final destination, but these sketches that we have been given the gift of dreaming will lead us home. In the mean time we should enact tomorrow's economy of love and constitution of justice as we look and listen for how our street will reflect the Patmos dream of a world put right.