If you live in the New York City area, spring has come a little early this year. It’s just early March, and after a mild winter, blossoms are emerging, robins have arrived. We are reminded that even after the coldest and bleakest times, God always does what God promises. God creates something new!
The words from Isaiah were given to people living in the despair of having been exiled from their homeland – refugees of their time. They had left all behind, including the center of their worship life, the temple in Jerusalem.
But God steps in and offers up a new thing!
God forgives the rebellion of God’s people and comes to them in the winter of their lives. God makes a new way forward, offering to forget the past, and promises that there will be signs of this new way. For Mary of Bethany, it is an outpouring of extravagant love when she anoints the feet of Jesus as he prepares to journey to his death, but it is also a reminder to us that Jesus is the anointed one – the one who will make a new way beyond even death, sprouting forth from the empty tomb as the promised Holy One of Israel.
For St. Paul, this new thing is the power of the resurrection. Knowing that we cannot achieve resurrection on our own, we want to join with Christ and share in the resurrection unto eternal life.
But before that, there are still a few more weeks of winter left as we remember the life of Jesus. He will go to Jerusalem a hero, then be abandoned to death five days later. If we are to share in the power of the resurrection, we must also share in the power of the Cross. Still we hold our faith in the promise of the new thing to come.
How will you be that new thing when you hear the words “The Lord is Risen!”
Devotions for the Week of March 13, 2016
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Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church (GA) in New York City has been chosen as one of eight internship congregations to participate this year in a church-wide initiative designed to increase our understanding of Holy Scripture and most importantly, to cultivate our engagement with it. In partnership with The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Vicar John Heidgerd will be working to develop innovative ways to deepen our faith formation and sense of discipleship for the sake of ourselves and our communities.