Some friends of mine and I just hosted a bridal shower for a “woman” who I held in my arms when she was only 6 days old. I have “woman” in quotes because it is so hard to see someone who you have watched grow up, as a beautiful, adult woman. In my mind’s eye, she is still a young girl. But she is, in fact, grown, and about to leave her old life and family to be married. She will then be on a new life journey, creating her own family and traditions. She will build on the past, but her perspective will all be new.
The way we celebrated the bride-to-be was with a “high tea” party. My grandmother, who is dancing with Jesus now, gave me a lot of her embroidered and crocheted table cloths, pressed glass table ware, fancy hats and tea cups that were in on many a celebration. For the bridal shower, we used it all! The “old” celebrated the new!
Our world is an antique of sorts. We are given the history of its creation in the Bible, in Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Everything was perfect. Adam and Eve celebrated creation and their close relationship with God, until….
Adam and Eve sinned, and part of their punishment was that the ground was now cursed. The land produced thorns and thistles and would require hard work to keep it managed (Genesis 3:17-19). Can you even imagine how incredible the world must have looked before it was cursed? I see some pretty spectacular, jaw-dropping beauty in creation, even in its “cursed” state. It is pretty hard to fathom that it could be better. The Garden of Eden, where creation was defined as “good” by God, was the best! God tells His followers that our future looks bright, too: Our eyes have not seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived what heaven is like (I Corinthians 2:9). The Bible tells us that when Jesus comes back, the old heaven and earth will celebrate the arrival of the new! There will be “a new heaven and a new earth”, for the first heaven and earth will pass away (Revelation 21:1). Then, Jesus Himself said to John in Revelation 21:5 “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Because of the past, we have hope for even bigger and better celebrations in the future. God’s creation and Jesus’s death and resurrection, make the way for our eternal celebration with Him.
Additionally, when we come to faith in Jesus, we are able to put off our old self, which is corrupt because of our sin, and to “put on our new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Then, upon our heavenly arrival, we will receive a new body that has no hurts, no struggles, no health issues and will never die (2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Philippians 3:21)!
Whether china, linens, the world or our bodies – old things can be well maintained, or restored, but they can never be new again. Jesus promises that in heaven, perfection WILL be restored – plus the best bonus of being forever in His presence!
Jesus’s followers make up the church, His bride-to-be. He is coming back to collect us to spend eternity with Him. On that day, heaven and earth will celebrate all things being made new. What a party that will be!