God's Good Future

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Isaiah 65:17-25

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 sounds of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. (vv. 18-19)

The daily newspapers give sad testimony to the onslaught of distress we bear: war, famine, poverty, hunger, homelessness; injustices of various kinds that sap the soul and destroy the flesh. The list is long, all too long. There is much weeping in the world.

We yearn for a time when things will be radically different, when life will be good and right and whole. The prophet, too, yearns for that bright future, when delight abounds and the sounds of weeping will be heard no more. A time when infants grow to old age and the aged grow old with grace. When those who build houses inhabit them and those who plant vineyards eat their fruit. We long, in short, for shalom.

Shalom means the flourishing of all things. It means the coming together of God and us and our nonhuman neighbors in a rich tapestry of delight. It means the world as it’s supposed to be, no longer bent or broken or out of kilter.

PRAYER

World-transforming God, make us aching visionaries for your great good future of shalom.