January 2, 2018
“Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
As we begin a new year, it’s the time of year when some of us make new year’s resolutions or do our best to put the events of one year behind us. For some, 2017 has been filled with sadness or doubts or painful events and we look to the future, longing for something new and better to come.
I am reminded of these words offered to God’s people long, long ago. When they had been cut off from their land and identity as a nation, the prophet Isaiah spoke a word of hope about what God will do. It’s actually God who speaks this word and the prophet is merely the deliveryman bringing it to the people. God declares, “I am about to do a NEW thing!” Something wonderful and surprising was about to come and it was up to the people to see it and take it in. God still speaks to us this same message: Forget about what’s happened. Don’t keep rehashing old history, going over and over your disappointment with the past. Instead, be alert, be present. God is about to do something brand-new.! But you have to look for it in order to see it.
It can be hard to be hopeful when there is so much that is unsatisfactory. It can be a challenge to look for the best in ourselves, in our relationships, in our world when there is plenty of reason to be disgruntled. But remember, our hope comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth, who makes the sun to rise each day, who provides strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessing all might with ten thousand beside. That is the basis of our hope.
See you in church,