The “making all things new” promise that was “trustworthy and true” made it possible for people to endure the worst sort of “all things” that got old pretty quickly. When your everyday is filled with sorrow and suffering you need something to hang onto. The promise that the tables will be turned has always been a powerful promise to the persecuted and revenge served warm or cold is just as sweet when your cause is vindicated and your tormentors are themselves tormented. All the better if their punishment is permanent and yours only lasted a lifetime. The trouble we should have with that promise is that it sounds like a very human response to a very human problem. The first sin outside the garden was fratricide and the human family has been killing each other ever since. So for God to enter the fray in the same way does not make sense to me. I’m not saying there is no judgement. I will be judged guilty no matter how tightly I cling to the cross of Christ because I am guilty. And so are you. And so are they whoever your “they” may be. The whole damn lot of humanity. Guilty. The hope that gives me comfort is that God’s promise to dwell with mortals is bigger than my limited imagination can conceive and that in the cross God truly was “reconciling the world to God’s self not counting people’s sins against them.” It is not a get out a jail free card. It is God entering our prison and transforming it into something new. It is the hope that the new Jerusalem will finally live fully into its name – the city of peace.