For All That Will Be, Yes! – Devotional

“For all that has been, Thanks! For all that will be, Yes!”

Dag Hammarskjold wrote this affirmation in January 1953, a few months after becoming the second Secretary-General for the 8-year-old United Nations. He wrote it as the world was still recovering from the devastation of World War II and as new wars broke out from Korea to the Middle East, Africa to South America. He wrote it also as he dealt with his own life and experience of oppression as a gay man coming of age in the 1940s and ’50s.

The One on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And also: “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:5 (adapted)

“For all that has been, Thanks! For all that will be, Yes!”

Hammarskjold’s affirmation echoes John’s vision at the end of his Revelation. In his own time of oppression and war, John saw the One who proclaimed, “Behold, I make all things new.” The One whose word was and is “trustworthy and true.” A word to which we can say “Yes!”

Before we get too far past Easter, I invite you to consider John’s assertion and Hammarskjold’s affirmation. As you look back on “all that has been” of Lent, for what do you give thanks?

As you look ahead to Eastertide and “all that will be,” to what will you say “Yes”?

Most of all, will you (and I) have the courage to trust the One who has the power to make all things new? The courage to believe the One who still says “Yes!” to us and to our world?


For all that has been, Thanks! For all that will be, Yes! Amen


Talitha Arnold is Senior Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe (UCC), Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of Mark Parts 1 and 2 of the Listen Up! Bible Study series and Worship for Vital Congregations.