It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A New Earth, a Reflection on Isaiah 65:17-25

Internal conversation I had with myself: How do we read this passage? Is it about heaven? Being about just heaven doesn't fit. But, if it's about life here on earth, is it realistic? Are we able to believe such promises? We can testify that the calamities that existed in Isaiah's times persist into ours; e.g., infant mortality, theft and usurpations, and, in the U.S., economic disruptions that have caused great losses in retirement accounts by many and great difficulty in acquiring resources by others who had not been able to accumulate much during the time of national prosperity.

The words from Isaiah call us to rejoice and promise long life, economic stability, and blessings. And peace. Creatures that are natural enemies will live together in peace.

Walter Brueggemann, in his Westminster Bible Companion on Isaiah 40-66 says:
This poet, and the Isaiah tradition more generally, knows that Yahweh's coming newness is not contained within our present notions of the possible. And although the work of urbanization is hard and daily and concrete, that work is situated in a vision unscarred. What this poet imagines for his treasured city, the subsequent people of faith have regularly entertained as a promise over every failed city. Here the old city is submitted to the wonder of the creator, the one who makes all things new.

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