I struggle to comprehend what these verses are describing. Why? The reason is that while life is indeed a blessing and filled with so much grace, trying to comprehend life with no more crying or pain or death is difficult to really imagine. Now I mourn for those I’ve lost to death. Now I witness on the news broadcast the crying and pain brought by our inhumanity to each other, our refusal to recognize the image of God in each other. Yet as Revelation draws to a close an image is given of a wedding with the reign and presence of God united with us. The old ways will be no more. Instead, they will be replaced by the ways of a new heaven and new earth where the old ways will no longer be. Christ, the Lamb, is the light by which the nations will come and go. What will this life be like? What the brain can’t comprehend, faith holds on with hope for the promise of what is to be.
“…and there was no longer any sea.” The sea is often referenced to as a place of chaos. It stands in contradiction to the goodness and order of creation. The opening verses of Genesis tell of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters and God first called forth light and creation began with order, goodness and teeming with life. We, created in the image of God, are to care and tend for this amazing creation. The chaos of the sea works to oppose God’s creative goodness.
Whenever hate filled shouts or mockery is made against each other, then we deny God’s image. This is chaos.
We are reminded over and over of how we are changing the climate of the earth. A recent estimate is that one million species is at risk of extinction. Whenever we fail to care for creation, this too is chaos.
So often heaven is thought of as a place we go to but Revelation tells us that the abode of God comes to us. The result is that the ways of the old heaven and the old earth and the sea will be no more. The death and resurrection of Christ Jesus has begun a new creation. The final end will come in a new heaven and earth where the old ways of pain and crying and death will be no more. What a beautiful promise! The brain may not comprehend but what an amazing hope for faith to cling.