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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, April 23, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Isaiah 65:17–25

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. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord. (NRSV)

Reflection
This passage is a common post-Easter passage that beautifully sets out a new vision for our world. We Christians see this as a “resurrection-charged” vision for a world where God has transformed everything that frightens us about our world today—children living but a day and the like.

Above all, this passage provides hope that the old ways that aren’t working will be no more, and it calls us to envision a new world that God is creating in our midst even now.

This month, I begin my sixth decade of life on this earth, and I can’t help but wonder (and worry) about the world I will leave behind for my children and grandchildren.

The twentieth-century American avant-garde composer John Cage once said, “I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.”

I have recently been thinking a lot about the legacy I will leave to future generations.

The John Cage quote reminds me that perhaps my legacy needs to be able to support the new thing God is doing, not promote a world exactly like the one we live in now.

I believe that the next generation of church leaders will be engaged in exciting new endeavors amidst an as-yet not fully known “new thing” God has in store for us all.

The legacy that I want to leave for the next generation is one based in the truth that the God who has always been faithful to me and to the generations before me is now doing “a new thing,” and it too will be wonderful!

Prayer
Thank you, gracious God, for your faithfulness to me down through the years. Help me make it possible for a new generation to grow and flourish in the faith. Amen.

Written by Stuart Jamieson, Major and Planned Giving Officer

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