Read: Revelation 21:1–8

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; 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.” Revelation 21:3–4

John’s vision for the end of all human affliction and strife echoes the vision Ezekiel received during Israel’s exile to Babylon in 597 BC. God will create an entirely new heaven and earth—there will be a new world, and a new Jerusalem at the center of it all. For all the groaning and aching of creation throughout the ages, a day will dawn when our world and our lives will be made whole and God will choose to dwell in our midst.

The description of this heavenly Jerusalem that resides at the center of God’s established kingdom is beyond imagining. John does his best to capture what heaven on earth might look like, but his efforts still have a way of confounding our ability to envision it for ourselves. What is clear is that at the end of all things, life is gloriously renewed. The end turns out to be a new beginning. Death itself is swallowed up by irrepressible life. Through John’s efforts, we learn that there is no ending eternity.

At the end of this year, how do you envision beginning anew?

Lord, You promise to make all things new. You challenge us to believe that there is no final chapter to our lives and to Your world. Every end is just a new beginning, a clean slate, another opportunity to live well, right wrongs, and live in love. Oh, how I long for just such an ending! In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.