Read Revelation 21
Robben Island was a place of a harsh horrific prison regime. It was not a place to easily find hope. On one visit to the island, I heard a phrase that has stuck with me ever since. We were out at the Lime Quarry a place of tedium and boredom for prisoners. Those former prisoners, now tour guides, were telling us that while they chipped the lime with little hammers they taught each other to read and write, do math and think politically and economically. Why? “We were getting ready for freedom before freedom came!”
Wow! In the very midst of life sentences, seemingly with no hope of release, they found a hope to believe in and were getting ready for freedom.
The apostle John is giving us a vision of freedom, the climax of God’s story. Heaven… God’s kingdom in all its fullness… coming down out of the sky. This is our hope. This is what we believe.
What will it be like in this eternal city? The past will be healed! All of those gathered will be honoured by the Lamb on the throne. Hope will be a daily reality. Let us be like those prisoners on Robben Island? Let us get ready for freedom before freedom comes, right here across the island of Ireland!
Help us to imagine Your kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven
Strengthen our belief
Then Lord, give us Your Holy Spirit that we might get ready for Your Kingdom before it comes
May we live as if it is already here
May we live as if the past is healed
May we live by honouring everyone around us as fellow citizens of heaven
And, may that living deliver a robust hope across our island
Lord, may we live in the new!