Fourth Sunday of Advent: Consummation
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
—Revelation 21:1-5 (Read Revelation 21)
Someday the consummate Host will have his party, hiking up his robes and running to every prodigal.
Celebrate! The dead are alive! The lost are found! Prepare the feast!
The table will stretch for miles. It is the wedding feast of the Host and the Bride, the reunion of heaven and earth. The family has come home, and the food is indescribable.
Raise a glass for the toast!
The cheers will echo across the firmament.
Stones—yes, every sparkling gemstone in every towering wall—will cry out. Trees will clap their healing leaves. Crystal clear waters will gurgle and call—Hallelujah!
And a voice from the throne will thunder back, making all things new.
During this fourth Sunday of Advent, we have arrived at the grand finale of the Gospel as a story of hospitality. And the story ends (and begins anew) with a party—the wedding feast of the Lamb.
If you would like to see all four chapters of this story together, here is The Gospel as a Story of Hospitality, our almost-final gift to you. There are still three more stories of Incarnational Hospitality, and the last, a story from CCO President Vince Burens, will arrive in your inbox on Christmas day.
—Emily Bingham, CCO Midwest Staff Director and Jen Pelling, CCO Writer and Editor