Morning Prayer: 26 Nov – Revelation 21:1-8 ~ all things new

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 21:1-8 (ESV) – to be read aloud

all-new

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. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “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. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Reflection

THE THIRD VISION (17:1-21:8)

The New Creation (21:1-8)

Throughout the entire Bible, the ultimate destiny of God’s people is an earthly destiny…. Biblical thought always places man on a redeemed earth, not in a heavenly realm removed from earthly existence…. “Behold, I am making all things new,” suggests the renovation of what already exists.

New Jerusalem: The New Testament conceives of a heavenly Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God, the true homeland of “the saints, and the dwelling place of the spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:22; see Gal. 4:26; Phil. 3:20). While this heavenly Jerusalem is represented as the dwelling place of the departed saints, heaven is not their ultimate destiny, but only the temporary abode of the saints between death and resurrection (Rev. 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 3:8; Phil. 1:23). In the consummation after the resurrection (20:4), the heavenly Jerusalem will descend from heaven to take up its permanent location in the new earth.

God with us: In the coming of Christ, God took up his dwelling temporarily among men (Jn 1:14)…. During the church age, God indwells his church, which is his temple (Eph 2:22); but this is a dwelling “in the Spirit,” which can be apprehended only by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:17). In the consummation, all this is changed; faith will be changed to sight, and “they shall see his face” (22:4).

This is a reality which we cannot visualize; but direct, unmarred fellowship between God and his people is the goal of all redemption…. The essential blessing is direct, untroubled fellowship with God. (Ladd, p.275-7)

Perfected Church: In John’s vision the first heaven and earth are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth…. The entire presentation stretches the limits of human vocabulary and thought to emphasize the glorious reality of God dwelling among his people.

John’s vision includes a new Jerusalem as well…better understood as a symbol of the church in its perfected and eternal state. The point is that Jerusalem is the site of the temple, the place where the Presence dwells. In 1 Cor 3:16-17 the people of God form the temple where God dwells: here (in Revelation) they are the city. The vision itself takes the form of a magnificent city symbolizing the eternal fidelity of those who follow the Lamb. The holy city (cf. Isa 52:1; Matt 4:5) is of heavenly origin. It comes down from God, that is to stay, the church is not a voluntary organization created by human beings but a fellowship initiated and given by God (cf. Matt 16:18). (Mounce, p. 381-2)
__________

__________

Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

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