Art Source: “The Resurrection” by Janet McKenzie

New Heaven, New Earth

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.”

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Lina Thomspon
Seattle, WA  |  U.S.

Out of DEATH rises fullness of LIFE

I am beyond glad that there is life after death. It gives me great comfort to know that one day, I will be reunited with both of my parents who have passed away. Almost every family I’ve accompanied during the death of a loved one has expressed their hope and belief that this is true. The Resurrection promises us eternal, life.

But what difference does it make to us right now while we are still living?

Part of the answer is found in Isaiah our passage. Here, the Lords says: “I will create… I will rejoice… I will take delight… I will answer… I will hear.” God is the “I” here. There is no question who is making things happen here. Only God can make these kinds of declarations.

Smack in the middle of all of those “I will” proclamations is a Resurrection Vision that begs for an AMEN to anyone who has ears to hear:

Healthcare for all:

Never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man that does not live out his years.
Isaiah 65:20a

Homeownership & sustainable livelihood

They will build houses and dwell in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them or plant and others eat.
Isaiah 65: 21-22a  

Meaningful vocation

My chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain.
Isaiah 65: 22b

Hope and Promise for children because things are set right.

…nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendents with them.
Isaiah 65:23

All of these make for a vision that could only be described as the fullness of life for all people. It is very clear that the ONE speaking is going to turn things around.

Equally as powerful as the “I will” statements, phrases like “no more” and “never again” and “no longer” punctuate this vision with certainty and conviction. God is serious about fullness of life for all people.

Something is changing. Forever. Only God can do this.

The passage begins with seeing a new heaven and new earth and ends with the wolf and lamb hanging out together. In this vision, God makes all things new. All are reconciled and healed. Relationships are renewed and restored. Systems, institutions and governments are working like they should be. Everyone has what they need – homes to live in and food to eat. People are fulfilled. Families are taken care of. Kids aren’t dying early. People are living longer healthier lives.

God: “Do you want to be a part of this thing?”
Feebly, I answer, “Will it really work?”
God: “It’s already working and it’s already done. That’s resurrection power.”

Now and Not Yet

Every year I watch the East Coast celebrate New Year’s, while it is only 9:00 PM for us on the West Coast. Already, but not yet.

Somewhere in the world, it’s already the New Year.

Even as I write, I have to chuckle at my own lack of faith in the presence of a God who clearly is inviting us into the adventure of a lifetime. It has already happened. Enjoy the party!