For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things
shall not be remembered or come to mind… They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain, says the Lord. Isaiah 65: 17, 25
On the day in which we will gather to celebrate the joy of the Resurrection, April 17th, 2022, we will stand and with one voice proclaim “Alleluia! Christ is Risen… The Lord is Risen Indeed. Alleluia! It will be the first time since April of 2019 that we will have been able to do so… what a glorious and joy-filled moment that will be. The opportunity to return to our beloved Cathedral to celebrate on Easter morning, resplendent in its Easter array and to sing those joyful Easter hymns and hear the Resurrection gospel proclaimed will be truly life-giving. And in seasons in which new life abounds, both Easter and spring, there is indeed much to look forward to, much to be hopeful about.
The message that Isaiah shares as selected for Easter day, is also a message of new life and of hope. The people to whom Isaiah is writing however, haven’t just spent the last two years in various forms of lockdown or isolation, inconvenienced by social distancing and mask wearing. No, the people to whom Isaiah is writing have been held in captivity for many generations and have seen their beloved city, the Holy city of Jerusalem, ravaged by the armies of the Babylonian empire. The verses quoted above are the first verse and the last verse of the passage we will hear on Easter morning and they bookend the promise of God that all is not lost, that death and destruction don’t have the last word, but rather, that God will indeed do a new thing and bring about new life.
As we anticipate this season of new life and hope, we hold prayerfully before us all those living in places who are undoubtedly feeling many of the same emotions as those to whom Isaiah is writing: despair, desperation, fear and loss. As we hear stories and see videos and pictures of the devastation in Ukraine, as well as other parts of the world, we pray for the realization of the promise that God makes through Isaiah… “they shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain…” As impossible a situation as it may seem, may we, in our time and in our place, and renewed by the promise of new life and new hope, do all that is in our power to bring about the Peace that our Risen Lord promises to all, the Peace that surpasses all understanding.
Wishing you every Blessing in this Holy Easter time,