It’s a wonder how some small incident from our youth sticks with us our whole life. Such is the case with Revelation 21: 4 from the epistle for this Sunday.
“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.”
Because of the age difference between my mother and her oldest sister my mother had three nephews older than herself. One of these, Alvin, known as Robin, fell seriously ill. I remember him being in terrible pain. He and his wife Esther, had two young children. As his illness took its toll, my mother would spend nights with him so his family could get some sleep. However, Alvin/Robin was antagonistic toward our church, for whatever reason. AS his situation worsened, my mother asked if the pastor could visit him. He agreed.
I remember my mother reporting that the pastor had told him that in heaven there would be no more pain.
There is much in the epistle lesson for this Sunday which bends the mind. What will be the form of existence in the heaven and new earth? I have trouble picturing a new Jerusalem, which is the church – the bride of Christ the Lamb, descending from heaven dressed like a bride. But Verse 4, brings it down to my understanding. No tears, no death, no grief, no crying, and no pain. Those things will not be part of our new life with Christ, the Lamb of God. Whether it’s God dwelling with us or we dwelling with God, the voice from the throne is announcing, “Behold, I make all things new.” That sounds heavenly.