Rivers in the Badlands

“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?  There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.  Isaiah 43:18-19 (The Message) I used this familiar passage from Isaiah with the vestry last night.  This version, from Eugene Petersen’s “The Message” is an accurate and modernized translation.  The historical circumstance of deutero-Isaiah has the prophet proclaiming a word of hope to the Israelites who have been deported to Babylon, and after many years in exile, have lost hope.  The bible is full of stories of people who have been in challenging situations but have held onto hope for deliverance into a better future.   The questions posed to the vestry I give to you.  What new things are you/we being called to do this year?  What things from the past are you/we being called to forget about?    The energy in our church and community is increasing.  People are doing new things.  The church is reaching out in many new ways not just with programs but also through individuals coming forward and doing things.  As we reach out to the community around our church, perhaps we will be a safe place for families and children, a place where stressed out parents can rest, a place where many who have given up can at least find a place of understanding and hope.  Each of us does a small thing.  Together, with help from the Creator, we make rivers flow through the badlands.