Friday, August 17 2018
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; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and he will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:1-4)
This week in our bible study on Revelation, we spoke about the coming together of heaven and earth. The mixing of heaven and earth is difficult to understand. I find the Eucharist both deeply meaningful and still somewhat mysterious. New life comes when we believe that Jesus is the bread of heaven. Each and every Sunday morning we can feel the real presence of God in the bread and wine that we receive at the altar at St. John’s. The Anglican Theologian Hooker said, “Through Christ’s presence in the sacrament, God’s causative presence in the world was transformed into his saving presence in the Church.” “The benefits we receive are the forgiveness of our sins, the strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet which is our nourishment in eternal life.” (BCP 859) This foretaste of the heavenly kingdom is what makes St. John’s such a special place. We are one in the love of Jesus Christ and we have the power to transform the world by God’s love. Isaiah tells us that the wolf shall lie with the lamb, there will be no sorrow or pain, death will be swallowed up forever, the desert will rejoice, and the swords will be beaten into ploughshares. Does that sound like a place that you would like to spend eternity in? If it does, I ask you to recommit yourself this fall to St. John’s and try your best to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. God calls us to bring others to receive this foretaste of heaven.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Duncan Burns