Reflection by the Rev. Dr. Karis Graham of Hope Lutheran in Clinton, MD.
It has been quite the six-day roller-coaster. For some, recent weeks and months have felt so long during this election and pandemic season. For others, it’s felt like a tsunami that slammed into our realities and nothing seemed the same for one simple day. There have been challenges around every corner it seems. Some have felt alone, too. But God calls for comfort and reassures the body of faith that we are not alone. Not one of us is alone. Peacefully, God’s presence floats gently into our collective and individual beings, along with a beautiful reassuring passage that comes to mind from Isaiah 43. In Isaiah, the Lord encourages us to let go of the old and embrace the new, even though this new will seem scary and unfamiliar, at times. God calls us to open our eyes to see God remains still at work today. By keeping our eyes focused on the past, we are tempted to be blinded to the goodness of new things around us. God knows our habits of sinking in negative thoughts and feelings about the past, present or future. Those negative thoughts stand in the way of embracing God’s new surprises with a positive mindset of hope. As we reflect upon this verse, God gives us permission to stop mourning the past and embrace the new with a heart full of faith and a mind full of optimism. Regardless of the new chapters that lie before us as a nation or individuals, how we choose to look at and think about those seasons of newness will determine whether or not we walk through them with peace, hope and joy, or with heartache, anxiety and fear. Letting go of the old frees up our hearts to embrace God’s new for us.
“But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:18-19a (NLT)
- What stops us from embracing new experiences?
- What do we feel called to let go of during this new chapter?
Dear Jesus, for some, we are in a scary season of “new,” and at times, we wish we could change things. Some feel anger while others feel hope. Help us to stay tied to You as our anchor, rather than tying ourselves to negativity and fear which can gradually sink us and our faith. Help us trust in Your ways and Your good with our whole heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.