Something New (11-01-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 100:1-2
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Bible Reading: Isaiah 43:18-21
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying, "Change is the only constant in life." I wonder how you cope with change. Does change make you anxious, or do you embrace it with enthusiasm? Or maybe something in between, a cautious optimism.
Change can happen in many different ways, sometimes by a slow evolution, like the changing daylength or the ageing process, but sometimes change happens through revolution, like the industrial revolution, the discovery of antibiotics or the internet. Or, on a more personal level, a sudden death or a dramatic change in our circumstances. Sometimes change is forced upon us, at other times we have a choice, to change or to remain the same.
Ever since the fall of humanity, when sin came into the world and separated us from God, God has been at work to bring about the change that will restore our relationship with him and also deal with the effects of our fallen nature. So, in today’s bible verses, Isaiah encourages his people who are in exile in Babylon, to embrace the new thing that God is doing. God is making a way in the wilderness and quenching the thirst of those in the wasteland.
As you begin a new year, I wonder whether you are facing are any changes to your life. Maybe changes in circumstances that you have no control over, or maybe changes that you have some choice over. How will you respond to these changes?
Sometimes fear and complacency can prevent us form discovering the new things that God has in store for us. I find it interesting that God, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow also says, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’
In this conundrum there is the promise that, whatever may change for us on a personal level, our unchanging God, who was with us in the past, who is with us in the present, also goes with us into the future. Indeed he has gone before us and is already there in our future, waiting for us. In this we can find peace and the confidence to deal with the change and face the future.
Father God, give me eyes to see the new things that you have prepared for me, the courage to embrace them,
and the faith to know that you go with me, step by step and day by day.
I do not know what lies ahead.