Isaiah 65: 17-21
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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Let Us Rejoice
“And they lived happily ever after,” the fairy tales assured us as we drifted off to sleep, calm and peaceful, in our early years. Then we grew up, usually with 6 or 7 years under our belts. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, this was the stuff of little kids, we wisely concluded. And so, sadly, at an early age and on many levels, we discounted the hope of everlasting peace and harmony and settled for life with so much less. Unwittingly, we limited God.
Enter Isaiah, with his stunning depiction of the Lord’s promise of “new heavens and a new earth.” Bad memories erased? No weeping? Eternal rejoicing? Old age and rich fare for all? Fairy tales, only repackaged for an older, wiser crowd? Or the stuff of true faith, the revelation of a magnanimous God? “I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people,” says the Lord. We are that people, all of us, in every corner of the earth. Even in Lent, let us rejoice.
God of all life and possibility, you promise new heavens and a new earth…even for all of us slogging our way through Lent. Help me trust in your life-changing grace and boundless love. Be with me along my personal way of the cross, knowing that you long to welcome us all into the fullness of your resurrection. Amen!