Maker of Heaven and Earth
by Rich Maffeo
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more . . . I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race . . . He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain (Revelation 21:1-4).
When our children were younger, my wife and I could predict their question as surely as the sunrise. Whether we drove to the zoo on the other side of town or to friends in another city, every few minutes - or so it seemed - they asked, "Are we there yet?"
And each time, I assured them, "Soon. Very soon, and we'll be there."
I understood their excitement - or was it impatience? Their young lives rambled along with carefree simplicity, snug within the safety and love of our home. Life doesn't get any better. A broken dolly? No problem. Daddy will fix it. Skinned your knee? Let me kiss and make it better. Hungry? Daddy will make you a snack.
When I took time to see life through their eyes, I caught snatches of a passion I left behind in my own childhood, an effervescence muted by maturity - not that there is anything wrong with maturity, except when it reduces childlike eagerness to a bored yawn.
But sometimes, while I meditate on these words of the Creed, a renewed excitement strains for freedom. Perhaps it's because as an adult I realize life can get better than this. It will get better. The older I grow, the better I know I cannot fix every broken dolly or heal every hurt knee. And I catch myself asking Father with increasing frequency, every few minutes - or so it seems, "Are we there, yet? When will we be home?"
Our Almighty Father is maker of heaven and earth. I don't know much about heaven, but I know plenty about the home we call earth. Natural disasters and human-created catastrophes send our planet reeling under a magma flow of death, destruction, and anguish. Whose heart doesn't long for that Day when Father will fix it, and heal it? Who doesn't long for that Day when God wipes away our tears and puts an end to death and mourning?
Are we there yet, Lord? How much longer until we're home?
And sometimes, if I listen carefully enough, I can hear Him whisper, "Soon. Very soon, and we'll be there."
Prayer: Come quickly, Lord Jesus. And while we await Your new heaven and earth, create in us clean hearts and renewed spirits. Help us promote justice, mercy and peace in our world. Awaken us to the holy. Through us reconcile enemies, impassion our parishes and heal the divisions in Your Church. Amen.
These meditations are compiled in Richard Maffeo's book, "We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed." The book is available through bookstores and his website
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