I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth…
Isaiah 65: 17
The vision of a new creation, in Isaiah 65: 17-25 and in Revelation 21, has inspired me for many years.
We need a vision of newness, of something that is a real change, of something that shakes up our world. We need to dream, to imagine the world as God does.
I create Jerusalem to be a joy…
Isaiah 65: 18
But Jerusalem today is not a joy – especially the Palestinians. They and the Israelis often live in mutual fear and suspicion.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
or the sound of crying…
Isaiah 65: 19
How many are wailing – not just weeping – throughout the world, because of children killed by violence or by preventable diseases?
They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.
Isaiah 65: 21
How many are without homes, even in the US? How many have lost their homes because of war or disasters?
But the prophet offers us hope.
But it is a hope that demands our response, our openness to the new world God is creating.
For God listens to us and knows our inmost longings.
Before they call, I will answer;
while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Isaiah 65: 24
But do we really long for something new? Do we really have hope? Or are we stuck in the past, in our memories of failures?
Do we really want new heavens and a new earth? Do we ask God for that new creation?
Do we really want the peaceable kingdom promised at the end of the chapter
The wolf and the lamb shall pasture together,
and the lion shall eat hay like the ox…
None shall harm or destroy on my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
Or do we still want to rely on our weapons of war – or our weapons of self-aggrandizement and self-justification?
Do we let ourselves dream the dreams of God?