Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
(Revelation 21:1 NRSV)
And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth; and Heaven stretched away beyond universes, beyond time itself; and was filled with the music, the dance, the song and the art of all creation, and with the love of God; and I was overwhelmed by its beauty, its whispering subtlety and its gentle breath upon my skin. Bernini danced with Hockney, Caravaggio with Norma-Jean, Mary Wollstonecraft with Freddie Mercury. God saw all that he had created and, behold, it was very good.
And I saw all the myriad of broken souls exalted and lifted high by the cross of Christ in healing and wholeness, irresistible salvation. And I wept with the joy of this miracle. Every sin forgiven, every tear wiped away, every death destroyed by kind permission.
And I also wept bitter tears for what might have been had I, had we, only realised that the Kingdom of God was upon us like a thief in the night. I turned with empty hands and a broken heart to the one whose face shone like a thousand suns. And, though I recoiled, he took my hand and the hands of all whom I loved; and he lifted our burdens and replaced them with his gentle yoke.
And I saw the Kingdom of God in all its fullness and glory: the blind saw, the deaf heard, the dumb spoke, the last were first, the meek inherited the earth, the peacemakers conquered, the names of the forgotten were gold-etched in stone, the dead were raised, the faithful rejoiced with all their heart; there was powerful and undaunted love for God and neighbour: the world was finally healed.
And I looked, and in the far, far distance there was an empty cross, deep stained with blood, standing on a dark and wind-swept promontory, deserted, isolated; a place of pain and persecution gathered up and dumped: abandoned, desolate, save for the river of life which flowed from its heart.