“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.” [Isaiah 65:17-18]
I remember the figurative new heaven and new earth I experienced when I moved to Redlands. I had a new home, new neighbors, a new community, a new church family and a new position as your pastor. There was plenty of newness. Yet, it would have been hard for me to not remember or have come to mind former things. I left a church family I loved. I moved away from a circle of friends that had been part of my life almost weekly if not daily for 25 years. I left my home that had been my home since 1982. What could God possibly mean when God said, “the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind?” I suggest that these words are a reminder to us that living in the past robs us of the present moment as well as the future. By these words, God challenged the exiled people to bloom where they were planted, even if it was figuratively a new heaven and a new earth. What might you need to let go of to live more fully in the present?
God of the past, present and future, give me the ability to live in the present moment. Help me to hold lightly to what is past, in anticipation of the newness you are crafting even now. Let me rejoice and be glad for your presence in my life. Amen.