Not there yet - Hope 103.2

Not there yet

By David ReayFriday 20 Sep 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Revelation 21:1-4

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city,the new Jerusalem,coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne,saying,”Look,God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them,and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes,and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (NLT)

A child is born into the world and the proud parents describe him or her as perfect. Understandable,but not quite the word they might use after countless sleepless nights with the same child! A new house is described by its new owners as perfect-until the first sign of rising damp or leaking roof. In short,nothing this side of heaven is literally ‘perfect’,even though we might legitimately use the word to describe our feelings at the time.

We can enjoy a wonderful taste of heaven whilst living on earth: that is the role of the Holy Spirit,reminding us of what we have now and what is yet to come. But as for perfection,that must wait. So it is dangerous to become a premature perfectionist. To insist or pretend that all is perfect here and now is a prescription for much frustration and self-delusion. We embrace all the good things we can here and now,but always aware that those good things point to a perfect reality presently beyond us. A reality described in today’s passage.

Acknowledging the imperfection of our world and of ourselves is not a recipe for misery. It is a realistic way of living in our all-too-real world. It also allows us to be consoled by the presence and power of God as we live as imperfect people in an imperfect world. Let the songwriter Leonard Cohen teach us:

     “Ring the bells that still can ring
        Forget your perfect offering
     There is a crack in everything
       That’s how the light gets in.”

David Reay