17 For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 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.
19 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.
God gives us hope!
I recently said good bye to a close friend…she died too young leaving behind a son she had raised as a single mother, and her husband of just two years, as well as many other family members and friends,
Her loss left us feeling sad, a little shocked and with the feeling that it was all so unfair!
Yet in the midst of our sorrow and upset, there was still a sense of celebration for the life that was lived: filled with compassion for others and the hope of new beginnings!
My friend had many losses and set-backs in her life, the going was not always easy for her, yet with each failure or loss, she took the opportunity to do something new…move in a different direction, rather than grind to a halt and weep.
It was with this faith in new beginnings, faith in the presence and power of God in her life that helped her find lasting sobriety at relatively young age…when her life turned sour due to addictions she turned to God, and got the help she needed to create something new!
When she found herself faced with being a single mother, she turned this over to God also, and as her old life ended, she got the help and support she needed to raise her son to become a fine young man…always making sure he had all he needed in life, although she often struggled to make ends meet.
Later in life, with her son becoming more independent, my friend found herself more and more alone, as so much of her focus had been on her son, she often found herself at loose ends…her life was once again changing and in faith she turned it over to God once more and found a new love and a new life when she met and married her husband and they began a life together.
Then in just the past two years, when her health was getting bad and she wound up on oxygen, she once again started over and took steps to lose weight and become healthier…although it was a tough road she remained ever hopeful, and ever helpful to others in need, sharing her faith through her actions and her life.
And now that she is gone, those of us who love her have to face a new beginning, of life without her with us, but we can follow her example of faith, and turn our sorrow over to the care of God, and know the joy of a new life!
As single parents ourselves, many of us have had to face dramatic (and even traumatic) changes in our lives, where the ’former things’ have been taken from us and we were forced to start over, to begin anew. This prospect can be difficult and scary, nut as Christians we know that there is always hope!
This is the good news:
God gives us hope and promises us new life through Christ, a new life lived together in faith with each other and with God. In the promise of Christ all endings lead to a new beginning, and rather than mourning our losses, we can celebrate the gift of God’s eternal love for us all…a love that makes all things new again.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for new beginnings and the hope they bring us. Please help us through the hard times to have the faith to turn to you and to each other for help; let us always remember that we had to go through the darkness of Good Friday to get to the light of Easter. Thank you that through Christ we are Easter people.