Reading: Isaiah 65: 17-25
In Isaiah’s words we hear of a future with hope. For those he lived amongst, they needed to hear words of hope. At times in our lives, we too need to be reminded of the hope that rests in our faith. The Israelites had plenty of trials and despair during the fall of Jerusalem and their time of exile. Isaiah has plenty to say about this. Life will also bring us times when we feel like we are being crushed and when we feel like we are living out in the wilderness. In these times, Isaiah’s words speak to us as well.
In our world we certainly have death and hunger and injustice and violence and many other things that bring pain and heartache. Perhaps you are in the midst of this pain right now. Into this pain and heartache, God reminds us that all of these things are passing away. God does not promise to take away the trials and sufferings that are a part of this life. God instead tells us of the coming of a new heaven and earth. God tells of the time that draws ever nearer when there will be no more pain or tears or hurt. God gives us the ultimate hope in life eternal, a life that awaits all who call on God as our only hope.
Our passage today begins with “Behold”. It is a word full of hope and promise. Another story begins with this word: “Behold, the Lamb of God”. This too is a story full of hope and promise. And this is the story of hope and promise in the here and now. In Jesus, we find one who walks with us in the midst of all life brings, one who will carry us if that is what we need. In Jesus, we find comfort and strength in our time of need. In Jesus, we find the compassion and love to offer comfort to others in their time of need. In Jesus we also find the grace and forgiveness we need to make us new again when it was we who brought the pain and separation upon ourselves. Jesus us our present hope that enables us to live towards and into the promise of a new heaven and earth. May we hold tightly to Jesus Christ as we live with hope filled anticipation for our eternal future that is sure to come. It is God’s promise.