Isaiah 65: 17-25
In today’s passage, the Prophet gives us a vision that we, as believers, should dream dreams and keep them inside of us—new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem. A new world and a new heaven, where is it? Is it only a place we will go after the end of life? Isn't it a place where we might see a glimpse of what it may look like in God’s kingdom on earth? Where and how do we find a new world and a new heaven today?
Perhaps, in our fatigue, self-sufficiency, or cynicism, we simply believe such promises could not happen here. Such newness is only a poetic fantasy; that is something we might see and experience in the next life with God in heaven, not here. I understand this point of view, as we all have witnessed the persistent realities—the realities of injustice, war, violence, hate, terror, grief, fear, anxiety, and so on. These seem never to come to an end, not in any time soon.
However, for this season, isn’t it true we are those who believe in God, who works beyond our capacity and even beyond our imagination—sending God’s son to the earth in a human form at the barn as the lowest figure? What a lucky God’s son he was, having his father, who let him brutally die on the cross. God worked beyond human capacity and even beyond human imagination—making God’s son resurrected from the dead.
As we are in the middle of Advent, we have heard Isaiah’s vision and prophecy that we take to be outrageous or even sarcastic and cynical about a new world and new heaven described in today’s passage--—the place where there will be no more sound of weeping, no more pain, no more broken people, no more traumatized people to cry out and hide, no more old people who will die too young, and no more destructive threat or competitive anxiety.
We all know that there are not many things we can do about that large vision except to wait for it and to watch for it. Look at the world we live in—the polarized world- black and white, blue and red, us and them. The world needs more people who can build empathy bridges between polarized groups. That is exactly what we see happening in today’s passage from Isaiah.
What if we are the critical pieces of that large vision for a utopian world to complete? What if we are the seed for God’s kingdom where everyone—wolf and lamb and lion and ox coexist peacefully and harmoniously—even though we do not know “when,” but God only knows?
I invite everyone to dream and envision a new world and new heaven beyond our capacity and beyond our imagination, just like an innocent child who believes, waits, and watches for Santa Claus. Who knows—a new world and a new heaven have already arrived just at the corner.
Thanks be to God, who works beyond our capacity and imagination.