Transformation

Transformation

Isaiah 43:19 reads:

“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”

Revelation 21:1-4 reads:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

In both cases, the writers are describing the transformative nature of God’s action and presence in the world. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek language “new testament”, an encounter with God means a moment of change for the one encountering God. That is true for the physical world (creation, the waters of the Reed Sea, water in jugs; order out of chaos, separating the waters for escape, good wine made from water) as well as for the person encountering God or Jesus (Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Zacchaeus to a new Zacchaeus, Saul to Paul.) After the resurrection, Jesus appears to the Disciples, as does the Holy Spirit, forever transforming them from a band of scared misfits into the Apostles. They are changed into the leaders of a community which proclaims the Gospel, meets the needs of people by sharing their worldly goods and seeks restoration of the outcast. We are heirs to that transformation and are called to a similar ministry of a proclamation of God’s love, service to the least of these and justice in the world. The question is, will we answer the call?

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