27.11.2020 Revelation 20:1-4, 11-21:2

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” (Rev.21:1) This passage is alluding to Isiah 65:17; 66:22 and 2 Peter 3:10. The phrase “and there was no longer any sea” doesn’t mean there is no water. It is an illustration that is normal to Hebrew thinking. The sea represented in apocalyptic literature chaos and evil. You see this imagery in Revelation 13:1 “The beast came from the sea” and Revelation 17:1 “The great harlot sits on many waters”. The sea represented chaos and evil. But we can also see that God has power over all chaos and evil. That is what we see already in the creation story in Genesis 1:21 that God created sea monsters. In the Psalms, you occasionally get strange references to God overcoming sea monsters. For example, Psalm 74 says, “You divided the sea by your might and broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan…” (vv. 13-14). What this is talking about, and what the focus of this is, is this idea that there is something better that is on its way. You have not been abandoned. You have not broken anything so badly that God will not or does not want to fix. The mercy and grace of God show us the way forward. Too often in our world, we allow the mistakes and the brokenness and the chaos of the past to shape who we are going to be in the future. And when we do that we simply get caught back in the old ways of being. We get caught back in the ways that trap us into our sinful ways and not be shaped by the future and the hope of the new city. The new city is not shaped by our brokenness, but by the love of God. That is why He assures us in today`s gospel reading,“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Lk.21:33). He has promised us that He will be with us until the end of days. We are called to be shaped by this image of God coming and being with us, of God coming and walking among us.