Grace and Peace to you.
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.
— Revelation 21.1
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
— John 13.34
The problem with a new heaven and a new earth is that sometimes it doesn’t feel so good. When old ways pass away and new things come we sometimes feel displaced, disoriented or even threatened by the new ways. We yearn for the way things used to be. When change comes, what can carry us over into the new world? What can help us to adapt to a new reality, to embrace change, to live with and even live for transformation?
Love will carry us over. To live in a new reality, a new haven and earth, Jesus gives us a new commandment: to love others as Christ has loved us. Jesus teaches us to set our hearts on the blessing and well-being of others rather than on our attachment to things being the way we want them. When we commit to such unconditional, self-giving love, “the way it used to be” is no longer our concern. Love sets us free. This new birth is not just an emergency procedure in the case of dramatic change; it happens with every moment. Every breath is an opportunity to let go of the past and enter into the new heaven and new earth of the present moment.
When things change and we feel lost or displaced, Jesus’ call to love can carry us over the abyss of our anxiety and into the new world—the new, living, present, vibrant heaven of this very life.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes