Reflections: Monday of the Last Week of the Church Year

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25

Daily Lectionary: Daniel 2:1-23; Revelation 18:1-24

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Dying and going to heaven is not the ultimate fate of the Christian. We are not promised a disembodied life floating on a cloud while playing a harp. To be sure there is life after death in the presence of Jesus. This is where all the dearly departed are even now as the Church in heaven waits for the full consummation of the kingdom of God. What the dearly departed are now experiencing, however, is only temporary. There is life after death and then there is life after life after death. There is the resurrection and an embodied life in the new heavens and new earth. This is the promise that awaits all of God’s people. This is the promise that awaits you. Your body is not to be escaped or shed; it is to be redeemed. 

The fix for broken creation, the fix for the fall into sin is a new creation. Before the fall God declared his creation good. God’s work of new creation has already begun. It started with the incarnation. It started with the coming of Jesus. The Creator Himself entered into His creation to make all things new. The healings and miracles of Jesus can all be seen as the response of creation to the presence of the Creator. On the cross, Jesus paid the price for all that was broken in creation. He took the punishment for the fall and changed the nature of death itself. Its rule over creation has been broken.  His resurrection signaled the inauguration of a new age where death has lost its sting. Creation remains fallen, but already the new age has dawned. 

You are part of God’s work of new creation. In baptism, you were created anew. You were washed clean in the water attached to the Word and made ready to live in the new heavens and new earth that are to come. Now you live as a new creation in a fallen world, you live as someone who is at the same time sinner and saint.  At the coming of the kingdom, you will be resurrected into a new heaven and a new earth, all saint and no sinner where nothing of the fall will come to mind.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O sweet and blessed country, The home of God’s elect! O sweet and blessed country That faithful hearts expect! In mercy, Jesus, bring us To that eternal rest With you and God the Father And Spirit, ever blessed. (Jerusalem the Golden LSB 672, st 4)

-Pastor Grant Knepper is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, Oregon.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.