And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.And so John wrote, true and faithful words, which come to us this afternoon in Elizabethan English—the language of Shakespeare—translated almost five hundred years ago, from New Testament Greek, an even older language. The language changes but the truth and faithfulness does not.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;Still faithful, true and forever.
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23)
Behold, I make all things new.
I SAW a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.God is always renewing things. New heaven and earth, new holy city, Jerusalem—new way and place to be with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ—new life because the first—the old—had passed away. Good news because, we believe that, as we shall shortly pray,
All those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss—new life with The LORD—both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (The Book of Common Prayer, p597)Doreen's first life, her old life, has come to an end. We're sad about that but glad the dialysis, pain and fatigue is over. We wish her first life with us could have been longer and that she could have grown older still with us—enjoying her family, baking, coffee with friends, water fights and crafts. But even now as we grieve her passing, if you listen closely to the words we've said and heard and will say and hear as this service continues, there is for us
a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and women, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.For Doreen, the former things of the old life are passed away. We who remain are still living in the former things—amid death, sorrow, crying and pain—the first heaven and earth, the old holy city, Jerusalem.
And yet, we are not like those without hope. There is joy and wonder at the presence of our Risen Lord and in your good memories of Doreen. God in his generosity, steadfast love and mercy gave her to you. A gift which enriched your lives.
This phase of Doreen's life and your lives are over—it is done, as The LORD said to John. Listen again to that great voice out of heaven saying…
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto those that are athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Those that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be their God, and they shall be my sons and daughters.Jesus is our beginning. Start with him. Develop a thirst for the water of life that flows so freely from him and that only he can give. Note that developing such a thirst means overcoming other first and old life things which look refreshing and taste sweet but which do not, and cannot, lead to the life as the sons and daughters of our God. That end and new life can only come through Jesus.
Please join me once again in praying the Anthem near the bottom of page 597:
I HEARD a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: Even so, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours.