We live in a world of constant sensory bombardment. Sights and sounds of the world around us, wash over us and, frankly, at times, we are numb to them. Unsettling news is broadcast on the radio or television or on the home page of our browser and we spin a cocoon around ourselves and sleep insulated from what is going on around us. At least, that happens to me anyway.
Then along comes Isaiah. The status quo is being ripped apart, barbarians are at the gate. But in the midst of that invasion, God provides words of assurance to the chosen people. For example in Isaiah 43: 19, the prophet reports that God prophetically proclaims: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Starting with November 17th, for five out of six Sundays in November and December, my primary source text will be Isaiah.
One of those Sundays I will use the following text from Isaiah 65:17 – 18: “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight” to speak to the new creation going on at Hilltop.
Our worship experience has a different look and feel. I see that as part of the new creation described prophetically in Isaiah.
The way we do our budgeting and income assessment is going to change. I see that as part of the new creation described prophetically in Isaiah.
We have new leaders getting ready to emerge into their new leadership roles for 2014. I see that as part of the new creation described prophetically in Isaiah.
God’s prophetic words were intended to pull the chosen people out of their own sensory bombardment of conquest and barbarians and see the new that was going on in front of them – and a new perception about a new reality was being invited. That invitation is just as true today.
God’s reminder is that in the newness, the New Jerusalem is to be a “joy” and a “delight.” I confess, that sometimes, change and newness is not universally seen as “joy” or a “delight.” Perspective matters. I pray that we can see the new with a joyful, delightful perspective. The past and future both matter. It is my view that the historical Bingham Canyon, Midvale and Hilltop epic narrative frames our theological discourse about the future.
I am proud to be the pastor of a church that has so readily embraced the concept of change grounded in the historical narrative.
Selah, Pastor Dennis