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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
December 15, 2012

The LORD All-Powerful will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears. No longer will his people be insulted everywhere. The LORD has spoken!
Isaiah 25:8 (CEV*)
The Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to streams of life-giving water, and God will wipe all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 7:17 (CEV*)
He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
Revelation 21:4 (CEV*)

Usually I pick a passage from the Lectionary readings for the following day to reflect upon. But today I felt led instead to reflect upon the scriptures which say the Lord will wipe away all our tears. This seems appropriate to this time of public mourning for the victims of the Connecticut school massacre, which I feel should be extended to victims of violence everywhere, including those victimized by the military might of my country and those victimized by internal conflicts in Syria, the Congo and other places, as well as those victimized by individual acts of violence.

I have long been struck by the fact that the promise of wiping away all tears appears three times in the scriptures. The repetition to me signals that this is an important point. In the earthly world as it is, we have repeated tragedies which bring people to tears. But that is not the end of the story. There is a deeper reality in which God has conquered all this.

This is a reality that presently exists, but is not fully realized, which it will be in the real world not some ethereal heaven of wings and harps. Bishop N.T. Wright describes this as “heaven and earth have kind of a risky engagement at the moment” but one day there will be “a marriage of heaven and earth.”

I believe it is our call as believers to live as much in this promised reality as we can here and now. In this way, we witness to it as the ultimate reality, not some pipe dream. Remember that our Lord taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Shouldn't our every prayer be more than words, but how we live our lives?

I am deeply grateful that we have a God who yearns with all God's heart to wipe away our tears. To God be all glory!

Bill Samuel

Grace Laxson & Justin Lavik :: All My Tears from Antioch Church on Vimeo.

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2012 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 22-Dec-2012 20:25:35 EST