Saturday, December 23
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
Isaiah proclaims that God promises a new heaven and a new earth. Their suffering will be a thing of the past. Life will no longer be so difficult that it takes lives too young. The new world will be filled with prosperity and peace.
When I was a kid I had a book called, "The Big Jump." In it, a boy named Ben and his friend, the king, enjoyed adventures together. In the story, "Something New," the king's rival threatened his kingdom unless the king could bring him something new -- something no one had ever laid eyes on before. He searched for three days, but of course, how could he bring something to the rival that had never been seen? Finally, Ben solved the riddle, and the king brought an egg. Just then, the egg hatched, and out popped a baby chick -- that no one had ever seen before!
I remember this story in part because the riddle was so intriguing. I also remember it because I have experienced the appeal of something new. There is something magical about a newborn baby, a puppy, or a kitten. Something exciting about a new house, new clothes, a new relationship. Maybe it's because something new breaks into the mundane and freshens the moment.
God's promise for something new was given to people worn and weary from the mundane and the pain of exile. The hope that grew because of God's promise was enough to keep them going until the day the promise would be fulfilled. Hope of something new is powerful like that.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Isaiah 65:17-25
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.