I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19
God enters into our lives here and now. God is present in our daily business in the situation we are in now – not the old situation, but how we are living now, the compilation of all that has come before.
The prophet Isaiah speaks to the people of Israel and Judah who are in exile in Babylon. They are not enslaved per se, but neither are they free to return to their land. They are not in Egypt. The exile itself is in part a consequence of how the Israelites behaved after entering the Promised Land. Love of God and love of neighbor had taken a back seat to love of power and wealth. Gratitude is absent. Yet, God calls Isaiah to give the people hope.
To the degree they considered it, the Israelites looked to their past only, the deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and the years in the country they ruled. They were not looking to the future and ready to perceive God was about to do a new thing.
God would not be coming along to part the waters of the River Euphrates in Babylon. Such a rescue would not fit the situation. Still, God’s saving power is very much alive and present!
In the case of the exile, a political change would deliver the people and allow them to return home. Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon and the Israelites could return to Canaan.
Still, God’s saving power is very much alive and present! Soon we shall enter into Holy Week, experiencing the triumph of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper’s dear community, the arrest and deep grief of Good Friday. God’s saving power and love is alive and present though hard to see. The cross was not the rescue we see coming. Yet, God’s saving power is alive in Jesus Christ. We are delivered of our sins.
Still, Christ’s saving power is very much alive and present! We may not see it, especially if we still expect a cross. That deliverance has happened. The Church’s liturgy and actions respond, sometimes in great love of God and neighbor; sometimes, in love of power and wealth.
The Church and our own lives are the situation of now, with all the struggles, new ways of seeing (truly seeing) one another, and daily lives which less and less do not honor the old ways of being Church and being Christians in this world.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19
As we approach Holy Week, I invite us to open our eyes and especially our hearts to perceive how God is acting now. What new thing of deliverance is God doing? May we let go of grumbling about the now, grumbling as the Israelites did in the wilderness once rescued from Egypt. May we let go of attachment to the way we have always done things. May we see the essence of Love and Beauty in our traditions and engage in the new thing God is up to.
God will make a way in the wilderness.
With every blessing,