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.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
At this mid-point of Lent, it is good to hear Isaiah proclaim, “I am about to create new heavens and a new earth!” There is still hope!
I don’t know about you, but it is easy for me to get disheartened at this point in Lent. I cannot always see the transformation taking place. We might regret the decision to “give more” or “give up” something during these 40 days. There are patterns or habits within ourselves that we would rather not see. And let’s face it, life happens! Sometimes I have the best of intentions when Lent began, and now it feels like I need to start over again.
Lent is not about succeeding or failing. It is about allowing God to meet us where we are and to take us where we need to go. Hope is at the heart of Lent, because it draws us closer to Jesus, to the cross, and ultimately to new life!
Spend some time with God and talk about your hopes for the remainder of Lent.
—Beth Knobbe is an author and ministry professional based in Chicago, IL. She blogs at www.bethknobbe.com .
Father of peace, we are joyful in your Word, your son Jesus Christ, who reconciles us to you and to one another. May we hasten toward Easter with the eagerness of faith, hope, and love. Amen.
—From the Roman Sacramentary