Summary of the Text
In this well-known passage from Revelation, John receives a vision of the New Heavens and New Earth that will come with the return of Jesus (The Second Coming of Christ). The preacher may want to connect this vision of newness with our own desire to live into our nature as “new creations” (2 Cor.5:17), where the “old has gone and the new has come.”
When we live into our identities as “new creations,” we witness to Christ’s kingdom and ultimately his return, where God will “wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (vs.4-5)
Stuart Strachan Jr. is an ordained Presbyterian Pastor as well as the founder and lead curator of the Pastor’s Workshop. His primary passion is equipping the saints for the ministry of the church (Ephesians 4). He loves preaching, teaching, and helping churches cast vision for what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st Century. He has served churches in a variety of capacities in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
Stu is married to Colleen, who currently serves as a spiritual formation lead at Compassion International in Colorado Springs. Stu and Colleen have two children (Jack and Emma) whom they love deeply.
In his free time, Stu enjoys gardening, golf, reading a good book, and watching baseball.
The New Year, the New Year. Everywhere during the New Year! The Old Year was already looked upon as dead; and its effects were selling cheap, like some drowned mariner’s aboardship. Its patterns were Last Year’s, and going at a sacrifice, before its breath was gone. Its treasures were mere dirt, beside the riches of its unborn successor!”
Charles Dickens, The Chimes (Illustrated by Maclise, Doyle, Leech and Stanfield)
The Fresh Start Effect
Take the prevalence of New Year’s resolutions. The Wharton professor Katherine Milkman said she found it striking that “at the start of a new year, we feel like we have a clean slate. It’s the ‘fresh start effect’
. . . all of my past failures are from last year and I can think, ‘Those are not me. That’s old me. That’s not new me. New me isn’t going to make these mistakes.’ ” In other words, New Year’s resolutions are not really about the resolutions. After all, for most people, the resolutions haven’t changed. Most people wanted to lose weight and save money on December 31, too. What we’re doing on New Year’s Day is more like a mental accounting trick. Our past failures are left on the ledger of Old Me. New Me starts today.
Taken from Dan and Chip Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, , Simon & Schuster.