Friday, October 6, 2006

From My Castle's Window

You know what I wish? I wish life came bubble-wrapped and mailed with shipping peanuts; I wish life couldn't go wrong, veer off or crash down. I wish I could look at the beautiful world through the safety of a castle's window.

The problem is, of course, that life isn't that way. Since we Christians are still living with some of the after-effects of Adam's fall from grace, we have difficulty this side of heaven.

Jesus told his followers bluntly:

"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me." (John 15.18-21 ESV)
Besides naked persecution we must deal with the ravages of this expulsion from Eden: sickness and death. However, all certainly isn't lost. Better days are coming!
"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, 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, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'" (Rev 21.1-4 ESV)
Speaking of this new creation, Wesley writes from his Explanatory Notes about verse one:
"A new heaven and a new earth - After the resurrection and general judgment. St. John is not now describing a flourishing state of the church, but a new and eternal state of all things. For the first heaven and the first earth - Not only the lowest part of heaven, not only the solar system, but the whole ethereal heaven, with all its host, whether of planets or fixed stars, Isa 34:4; Mat 24:29. All the former things will be done away, that all may become new, Rev 20:4-5, 2Pe 3:10, 2Pe 3:12. Are passed away - But in the fourth verse it is said, 'are gone away.' There the stronger word is used; for death, mourning, and sorrow go away all together: the former heaven and earth only pass away, giving place to the new heaven and the new earth."
Then I'll watch life through my castle's window.