There is something special about ringing in the new year. No matter if you celebrate in the early seconds or a few hours later when the sun rises. It’s an opportunity to re-new, to re-focus, and depending on how your previous year went, either build on top of it, or start a fresh. There is so much joy and hope that can come at the start of the year. A recent study showed that only 3% of Americans planned to not celebrate New Years Eve in 2019. That means the vast majority of people were celebrating New Years Eve in some form or fashion. It’s safe to say that there aren’t many other events, beliefs, or decisions that bring so many of us together. Hope is contagious.
This week we are going to look at Isaiah’s account of the Holy City in chapter 60. There are so many aspects of the prophets vision that are remarkable. It’s a full account of a city full of goods, commerce, technology, a diverse swath of people, kings and rulers serving the people, gold, frankincense, imported woods and of course, the glory of the LORD. Of the twenty-two verses that portray this Eternal City, it is the second part of the concluding verse that sticks out to me this new year.“I am the LORD, in its time I will hasten it.” To be haste is something our culture is overly familiar with. However not in the same way we are called to think of it here. No, instead we are hasty with decisions, with the way we move about in our work, our family lives, from one activity to another. We hastily look to those in power to free us from injustices, we want hasty decisions that go our way. In other words we live in a fast paced culture that wants us to keep up.
The LORD says, “in its time, I will hasten it.” The maker of all things, who created the earth and the contents it contains in six days, says…in its time…
As this new year begins, this is a reminder that YHWH is working. The things we long for, like the Holy City, which releases us from sin, pain, death and the like, are coming. Yet they are coming on the LORD's timing. It’s a call to press into that reality this year, to be faithful in our worship of Him, glorifying the LORD in all that we do and remembering that “in its time, I will hasten it.” It’s right for us to hope and long for that time and place, it will be glorious beyond explanation. It’s also right for us to wait on the LORD's timing. So here’s to a new year, full of God’s grace and glory.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash