15 December 2007

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." (v.17)


This week's theme has been 'The way of the Lord' and this passage from Isaiah speaks to us of how things will be when God has his way; when heaven and earth will be made new.

As Advent unfolds, and we reflect upon our world of pain and oppression, this beautiful passage from Isaiah silences the reader with its power.

Isaiah's prophecy is to God's people who have known the pain of exile, the violation of captivity and alienation in a foreign land. It speaks of a time when God will create new heavens and a new earth. It is delivered to the heart of the painful experiences of the people who hear. But it is a passage that spans time and speaks to the heart of our world. Just imagine what the promise meant to the Israelites and means to people today whose daily life is a struggle.

No longer will mothers live in poverty and weep for the loss of another child, for it is not God's way. No longer will people build the homes of the rich and have no homes for themselves, for it is not God's way. No longer will underpaid exploited farmers see the food they grow flown to a foreign land while they go in hunger, for it is not God's way. For a world riddled by war and violence, God's way is a peace that means not even a lamb will be threatened by a wolf.

Advent is a time to expect the new things that Isaiah prophesies. Yes we celebrate that God came to earth as a baby swaddled in cloths and laid in a manger but Advent is about anticipation of what is to comeā€¦ To remember that Christ will come again and bring justice and peace to the world, and that one day, God's word spoken through Isaiah will be a reality.

To Ponder

What do you think a new heaven and a new earth will be like?

What are your hopes for the future?

What is your prayer for the world this Advent?

Bible notes author

Revd Matt Finch

Matt Finch is a Methodist Minister in the West Norfolk Circuit where he shares oversight of ten rural chapels. He is a Fresh Expressions Associate Missioner and passionate about seeing churches flourish in all contexts and people groups.