Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭1‬-‭8.

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, the 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, “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.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then 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 water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The calendar tells us it is a new year. Often at this time we make plans for what we will accomplish and what we will leave behind. These New Year’s resolutions are usually made with good intentions, but with varying degrees of commitment and success.

In this passage we read of the time when not only a new day or year will come, but “a new heaven and a new earth”. Then God’s plan for humanity will reach its fulfillment and we will see Him face to face. While He is a loving God, He is also a just God and we will be called to account for what we have done with the gifts He has given us.

As we begin a new year according to human reckoning, let us devote ourselves more fully to what God calls us to do in this world. There are physical and spiritual needs to be met everywhere. May we seek His guidance and go in His name to share the Gospel with all people.

Loving Lord, as we mark a turning point in our world, may it also mark a change in how we see and treat one another. Help us to live together as You intend, loving one another as You first loved us. Amen.

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