EDITORIAL: 'Grasp the new thing'

Anybody who watches television occasionally channel surfs across one of those television preachers who talks about everyone else and points fingers only at others in the process of winding up to the plea for funds to sustain the ministry.

It's always much easier to point fingers and implicate somebody else in some immoral, unethical, dishonest or mean-spirited action than to look in a mirror and see how those flaws scar our own spiritual lives.

The ease with which many people deal with human imperfection is to avoid it, except in others. Precisely the opposite action is required in the historic context of the Bible's teachings.

The biblical way is opposite, looking inward and seeing ourselves honestly, then pleading for a touch from God to make us whole.

The prophet Isaiah, one of the most-read, most-quoted characters from the Hebrew scriptures, requires honest self-reflection, and his words offer a wonderful promise of renewal and hope:

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.

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.

The wild animals will honor me,

the jackals and the ostriches;

for I give water in the wilderness,

rivers in the desert,

to give drink to my chosen people,

the people whom I formed for myself

so that they might declare my praise. (Isaiah 43:18-21, NRSV )

Our times need the correction and the hope Isaiah offered more than 2,000 years ago.

The world today, as in biblical times, reels with injustice, destruction of people and the natural order.

Isaiah asks of us about God's action, “Do you not perceive it?”

Now, as then, this new thing God does is our hope, our grounding.