We have now returned to ‘normal Sunday worship’ but the regular ‘reflection’ is still being created that forms the basis of the Sunday sermon each week. It is sent out digitally or as a ‘hard copy’ to our congregation for those unable to attend the services. It is also printed below. Please use it for your own personal devotion.
We will continue to post these reflections each week, here on the web-site.
For those who wish to hear the whole Sunday service that centres on the following reflection, please click on the “Recent Events” page.
Immanuel, 13th November 2022
Isaiah 65; 17-25
God’s “no more”
When we Remember, it always takes up back to the past, but if we remain in the past we run the risk of forgetting. Remembering must lead us into the future, to what is yet to come; most of all so it is a new sense of living. Never more important that on Remembrance Sunday. This is the reason for today’s reading.
The section from Isaiah in which we find today’s passage is written when the Israelites return from exile in Babylon. The time of the second temple, the rebuilding of the city and the recovery of the vision they are part of by grace of God. The way forward must be better than the past, because the past led them to exile.
We all know what war does – death, destruction of homes, hospitals, schools, land, crops; contamination of the air, the waters, the land…families scattered, loss of hope, human rights violated, human dignity snatched. With new technologies we see all this seconds after is has happened.
So let us pay attention to what the reading says to us today, because from the very first words it is call to newness. God speaks through the prophet of this newness: a new heaven and a new earth, where the terrible things of the past are no longer remembered, and joy will be around.
There will be no more weeping or cries of distress, life will last what it is supposed to last and not be cut short. Houses will be built and lived in by those who built them, and the people will eat of the fruit of the earth that they have sowed. Life and work will not be in vain. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together.
God’s vision is that of a new world order, not built on oppression or destruction. People’s memories will be of life in fullness, not of pain. They will live in hope not in fear. Fear and sadness will be replaced with joy. This vision is so important for us human beings, because it is God’s will for all, and not a privilege for some. And when we look back in Remembrance of what is not this vision, of pain, suffering, sadness we should also look forward in hope to be builders of the new hope.
This reading today gives us a list of those “no more” that God wants for us: no more tears, no more destruction, no more fear, no more life cut short, no hurt or destruction. No more so many things that we all want to live and experience.
Remembrance Day is an important day, but even more important is our call to be co-workers with God and with each other, everywhere, to this new reality. Our prayers should be for this, our life should be for this, our judgement of the present should be based on this reading, because this is what Jesus preached, taught, and challenged us to be. God’s “no more” should be our “no more”. Only this way is Remembrance also Commitment for the present and the future as a sign of the Kingdom. Amen