And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:5 (NRSV)
Perhaps you, like me, sometimes confuse the words “new” and “instant.” Perhaps you, like so many of us, expect newness to appear dramatically and suddenly.
I’m beginning to understand this as magical and harmful thinking, the kind of unfulfilled hoping that could tempt us to lose faith—not only in newness, but also in the One who is making all things new.
Not instantaneously, mind you, but incrementally. More methodically than dramatically. One faithful person, one unhealed wound, one ongoing injustice, one destabilizing crisis at a time.
Consider the mRNA Covid vaccines that seemed to come out of nowhere: a scientific breakthrough so seemingly new that some folks are unwilling to trust it. Yet the technology behind the vaccines was decades in the making. It is the product of several scientists who—independently of one another—spent years following solid data and intuitive hunches. When they ran into dead ends, they fashioned workarounds. They labored in obscurity and in what often looked like failure.
For the sake of life and healing, they kept at it. Then, in a moment of great crisis, their disparate dots connected. Seemingly suddenly, all things were made new. Because of their doggedness as much as their brilliance, countless lives have been saved.
I wonder if this isn’t how we can participate in God’s making of a new heaven and a new earth: With hearts and minds open and hands to the plow, ever faithful to a vision we cannot see, all for the sake of love and healing.
May I live by the faith that even now, at this very moment, you are making all things new. Even me.