Revelation 21: 1 – 8
We’re on a Road to Somewhere, Come on Inside
Where are you going? Hopefully, by this stage in your elective the answer is either ‘on holiday’ or ‘back home’. It’s a question we ask every day - am I going to theatre or to the wards, on the rounds or to a teaching session? Am I off out with my friends after work or going home to swot up with only a microwave dinner and Eastenders for company? Maybe you ask the questions, Where will I be in a year, two years, five years, ten years? Where is my career going?
In the secular world, the questions don’t usually get much further than this. I’ve nicked the title for this section from an old Talking Heads song popular when I was a nursing student (which gives away my age!) ‘We’re on a Road to Nowhere’ - that’s the reality most people are too scared to contemplate - that we’re heading towards oblivion. Because after all, however much we try to butter it up, death is awaiting us all (saving the return of the Lord before that time). So no wonder the long-term question doesn’t get asked - it is just too difficult to face.
Except of course, that we know otherwise. We are going somewhere - home, where we belong (Philippians 3: 20), to be with God. To a world of peace, healing, joy and hope (v4 of our text). This world is a world in which we are strangers, simply passing through. It is a transient place that will eventually pass away to be replaced by the true world, the New Creation to which we now belong (vs1 - 2, and II Corinthians 5: 17).
All our lives, our witness, our work, everything is transformed by this simple fact. What matters to us? Passing that exam, getting that pay rise, moving into that nice house, getting a satellite dish? Or is it that when we face the judgement, we can do so in confidence, knowing that there is a better world coming? What matters - what we have here and now, or our new life in Christ that starts now but becomes complete in Eternity? (Philippians 3: 7 - 9). Suddenly, all our current trials and tribulations seem like nothing. In Tony Campolo’s words, ‘It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!’
But it’s not just enough to kick back and coast home towards that wonderful Day (please see II Peter 3: 10 - 14). Far from it - the awful reality of the judgement that is coming (Revelation 20: 11 - 15) should spur us on to see the lost saved, the broken-hearted comforted, the blind receive sight, the sick healed (Isaiah 61: 1 - 3). All these signs are part of that ushering in the New Creation here and now. Do we want to stand before our Lord on Judgement Day and realise that the World has been lost because we never told anyone? That we were never there to let people see the Truth?
Mission is about just that - wherever we are, whatever we do, helping people to discover the Truth. We are working with a purpose because we know that we are on the Road to Somewhere, that all this world offers us is trivia, complete dross compared to what is coming. We’re on our way to the New Jerusalem; I don’t know about you, but I want to be bringing a lot of people along with me when I get inside that City!
Ask yourself this question: if you knew that the Lord was coming back tomorrow (or that you only had 24 hours to live), what would your priorities be? What would matter to you most? Then pray that God would help you get your priorities sorted out in line with His, because each day could be the last. Then ask yourself, how are you going to live your life so it will count into Eternity?
Isaiah 65: 17 - 25
I Corinthians 15: 50 - 58