Heaven and Earth: The End and the New Beginning
Gospel Reading: Revelations 21: 1-27
Dear Community of Christians,
In the book of Matthew, the first book of the Gospels, there is a chapter which is called Proclamation to the Pharisees. When Christ presented his apocalyptic images to them, “He said: Yes, I tell you: Before the time of this generation shall have come to an end, the first signs will appear. The heaven and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” And now we have heard the end of these gospels, in the Book of Revelation: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” How can we understand what was prophesized by Christ, and the prophesy belonging to our time, and to the future, found in Revelations? Which incredible dimension of change lies between these two statements? How can we understand with our daily consciousness that there will be no sun, no earth anymore? That means, all that lives, crawls, grows and flourishes will one day cease to exist. Is there a thought that can help us to understand?
When we die, our consciousness is no longer informed by what we have experienced with our earthly senses. The initiate Rudolf Steiner describes how our consciousness will not be extinguished after death. It cannot die. However, when we cross over into the life after death, we do not arrive in this world as a blank canvas. Every human being brings into this world of spirit his life experiences, his mental work, his feelings and desires, his will impulses and actions; all that has been inscribed in our life forces is with us.
Immediately the question may arise, what kind of consequences does this have for our physical life on earth today? If we become aware that we bring everything described into the world after death, it must actually affect the spiritual world. Now it is clear, people will accomplish, in time, the transformation of heaven and earth. Admittedly, something about this idea seems too simple. Have all the dark, heavy, and evil forces, which humans bring into the world after death, simply disappeared from existence? But actually, they do exist as a reality. This forces us to conclude that we have to convert these powers while here on earth. These powerful forces are seemingly invincible for us humans, and we might fail. But if we have the will to connect ourselves with Christs divine word, with his sacrifice of Love, we may gain strength to stand against these adversarial forces. He offers his help, for all those who accept it, for this tremendous task of transformation of evil forces. And on our journey to transform the world of matter.
This is already predisposed in the beginning of Christ's activity on earth. Therefore, the one who sat on the throne could say, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, both the beginning and the ultimate purpose of the world...”
Rev. Ute Koenig