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Summary: A sermon for the 5th Sunday of Easter

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5th Sunday of Easter

Revelation 21:1-5

John 13:31-35

"Heart Prints"

Revelation 21:

1:1* ¶ 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.

2* And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;

3* and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;

4* he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

5* And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

John 13:

31* When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified;

32* if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.

33* Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

34* A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35* By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

The apostle John is imprisoned on the island of Patmos. He is aging and looking forward to the next life. As he looks longing across the sea, a vision, a revelation comes from God picturing the new life, the new heaven, the new earth, a new Jerusalem and John writes of this vision, this revelation from God. In this book simply entitled, Revelation, we have a picture, in imagery of John’s day of heaven, of the new life in Christ.

Listen again to part of that revelation:

¶ 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;

He continues:

and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;

4* he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

Can you feel the joy, the brilliance, the newness of this life with God through Christ? Do you have a sense that it is beginning now on this earth through, the life of Christ as he dries the tears, gives the promise of the resurrection. As he brings healing or strength, and gives comfort to those who are distressed?

One small phrase gives a clue to John’s feelings as he lives in isolation upon that island. Notice he says "for the sea was no more!’

This idea comes from a sermon in the Augsburg Epistles series by Pastor Robert Borgwardt.

John is saying something very significant in those few words. He is speaking about separation, he is speaking about the sea separating him from his friends, his books, Christian fellowship, separation from the land where Jesus walked and lived, separation from all that made life bearable for John. So John says very clearly that heaven will be a place where there will be no more separation. There will be completeness, a togetherness, a union of all things.

John found in his vision a promise from God that through the power of the resurrection, through the salvation won for us by Christ, each person will experience a sense of closure, or completeness in life. Unions will take place, people will be fully reconciled, answers to the why questions of life will be answered. A trusting faith in Christ will be brought to its completion. Healing will take place in all the broken areas ’of life, and perfect love will allow everyone to be a brother and sister to each person and a perfect child to God, all this will happen in heaven, in the new dwelling place.

All of us live now with a bit or a lot of separation in our lives. We can be separated from God through our sin, separated from ourselves through the brokenness of this world.We can be separated from each other through our unwillingness to love others as we love ourselves.

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