August 21, 2011

Reading: Revelation 21:1-7 (NRSV)

Today we begin a new sermon series with a scripture from Revelation. The passage talks about the coming of a new heaven and earth in place of the old. And God will dwell with us as our God in this new place.

How many of you ever wore new clothes on the first day of school? Starting a new school year always gives me a great feeling of wiping the slate clean, beginning anew. As a student, I got to start fresh with some new clothes, maybe an empty backpack or binder or folders; part of my preparation for the first day was to get rid of clothes that no longer worked and clear out the papers I didn’t need any more. The old stuff had to make way for the new.

In our spiritual lives we need to do the same thing. If we have prejudices that no longer work in our world, memories of old hurts and grievances, all that old stuff clutters up our mind. It gets in the way. Clearing out the clutter sometimes requires forgiving ourselves—or others—as God has forgiven us. Then we can let go of the old and get a new start.

God comes to live with us here in this place. What do I need to clear out to make room for God in my life?

Prayer: O, God who makes all things new, help us to let go of old hurts and sorrows and shame. As we hear the scripture today, may we hear Your blessed assurance that when the old has passed away, the new is come. Amen.

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