Ezekiel 47:1,8-9 & Revelation 21:1-5
For years, the prophet Ezekiel warned his people that God’s judgment was falling upon them. Again and again, he implored them to repent and return to God or catastrophe would overwhelm them. But everyone ignored his fiery sermons. They knew there was room for improvement, but no one believed it could be as bad as crazy old Ezekiel made it out to be. And they were right–until, suddenly, they weren’t. Disaster was swift and absolute, and nobody could say they hadn’t been warned.
Vindicated, the prophet opened his mouth to speak–but it wasn’t to say I told you so. From the ruins Ezekiel began to show them their future–of a new way of life, a new way of knowing God, a new way of worshipping. He described a new temple, built with a crack in the foundation–designed so that holy water would flow out to redeem the whole earth. A sanctuary built to leak glory that would swell from a trickle into a river surrounded by trees with unfailing fruit which would nourish and heal the nations.
Sometimes, the only way to go on in the present is to remember the future and give thanks for what has not happened yet. People of faith have always found courage and strength and hope by trusting that God’s promises are sure. This week as we gather for worship, we will be giving thanks for the future revealed to us by the promises of God.