Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Isaiah 65:17-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
For I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain,
or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
and their descendants as well.
Before they call I will answer,
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
We’re creatures of habit. Most of us are doing what we do, not because it brings us great joy, but it is simply what we do. What we need is something new. We need newness in the worst sort of way.
We’re in a fix. We’ve tried the old solutions, the former strategies, the previous programs. None of them change much of anything. We need something fresh, something not yet thought of, something new. Newness, genuine change, is rare. The allegedly “new and improved model” turns out to be, once you get to know it, mostly the same old thing. So, where will we get the change we need?
The images used in this passage are based in the reality that many people are trying to salvage a life for themselves because of war. But Isaiah calls the people to lift their eyes out of the valley of despair and focus on the mountains of hope, even if it seemed so far away.
Isaiah announces that God is about to do something really new. God, the same creator who created a new world out of nothing, is about to move again and a new earth will be the result.
For us to enter a “new world,” we have got to let go of an old one. That can be painful. And we avoid pain. Yet, God comes into our lives and makes a way, when it seems there is no way. Here is a God that brings us from time to time, peace, comfort, courage, and reassurance. But sometimes what this God brings us is newness. Therein is our hope.
Creating God, we have become complacent in our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in ruts, just going through the motions. Like the Israelites, we don’t see any way out of the old ways. Yet, you have promised something new, something exciting. You have offered to us a kingdom of peace, of unity and we so yearn for that kingdom. Reach into our lives and excite us with the amazing possibilities you have promised. Create within us a new heart and a new hope. Amen.
Go with God!