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Week 4 – A New Heaven and Earth

One family in Christ...for all the family: Loving, Serving, Growing

“The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.” 

Reading

Acts 2.14-21
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Reflection

The Bible contains a number of “apocalyptic” predictions – often associated with signs in the sun and moon. For too many people, a belief that this world is going to be destroyed has led them to conclude we need not bother about saving it.

The Bible certainly anticipates a time when God will transform this present reality, bringing in a new heaven and a new earth. But the hope of this glorious future – of Resurrection – is one that inspires us to heal our world and love our neighbours now.

Action

Reflect on these words, attributed to Martin Luther: “If I believed the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today.”

Prayer

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided —
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

From “Great is thy faithfulness”,
by Thomas Chisholm (1866–1960)

Family Challenge

Plant something this weekend
Plant some seeds or seedlings inside or outside. Notice how they respond to night and day and the coming of spring in the weeks ahead.

Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – A 40-Day Challenge inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK) are copyright 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.