(Our high school batch from the Philippines have recently been doing Zoom meetings. I gave a short inspirational message to my classmates on our Zoom reunion. Here’s what I shared.)
Revelations 21:1 – 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.
For us Filipinos who grew up in the Philippines, which is composed of more than 7,000 islands, it is hard for us to imagine a place that has no sea. Anywhere you go in the Philippines, you are always close to the ocean. In Pasay, during our PE class with Sir Palad (by the way, may he rest in peace), we would go to Philsite to play soccer and we were literally by the ocean. Or we would go to the break water in Luneta to watch the Manila Bay sunset. And we love to go to the beach, in Batangas, or Zambales, o kung medyo sosyal sa Palawan o Boracay. Now you don’t really need to go that far for I heard there’s already white sand in Manila Bay.
Where I live right now, here in Iowa, USA, I am smack in a land lot. If I want to go and see the ocean, I have to drive 26 hours non-stop west to reach the Pacific ocean, or drive 18 hours non-stop going east to see the Atlantic ocean, or 15 hours non-stop south to see the Gulf of Mexico. That’s how far I am from the ocean.
There are people who grew up here in Iowa that have never seen the ocean. I remember one friend of mine here, he said that several years back they drove to California with her mother and that was the first time her mother saw the ocean. She was in her 60’s, and she broke down and cried after seeing the mighty ocean. So you who are always seeing the ocean are taking for granted what you have.
But according to Revelations 21:1, in the new heaven and new earth, there will be no more sea. Why do you think that is?
Where was John when he saw this vision that he recorded in Revelations? He was exiled in Patmos.
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It is about the size of Coron Island. Patmos is a volcanic island, rocky and arid, with only sparse vegetation. I don’t know if there were other people in the island when John was exiled there. We can say that he was self isolating and social distancing everyday of his life
Everyday all John could see was the sea surrounding him. No people to talk to. No phone and no internet. Nothing. The sea has isolated him from his family and friends, and from the rest of his known world. I am sure that he longed to be in a company of people. But he cannot. So when he saw the vision of the new heaven and new earth, he was joyous that there will be no more sea there. No more isolation. No more loneliness.
I am sure you are all fed up with this quarantine too and not able to be in company of friends and family. You know what, in new heaven and new earth, there will be no more ECQ. No more GCQ. No more isolation. No more pandemic. No more suffering, no more pain, no more sickness, no more death. We will not be doing Zoom meeting anymore for we will be gathering together face to face.
I pray that all of us will be there. Let’s have our hearts ready for the Lord’s coming.