This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:16-21
Advent is about new beginnings. It marks the beginning of a new church year, it marks the beginning of a festive season, and it can be the beginning of something new for you as well. Advent looks back to the promises of God, looks forward to the ultimate return of the Lord, and guides us in celebrating the birth of Jesus. And it is a time of new starts.
Isaiah is reminding the people of God not to forget what has happened, after all our past is important and we should always remember those who came before us, rather he is saying “do not dwell on the past.” This has always been a problem for people. We get so caught up in the “good old days” that we do not see the good happening before us right now. We complain about how things were better “back then” while ignoring the problems of that time.
Personally, I am in a new beginning as I start a new ministry. It is a great opportunity to live this passage as I guide a congregation into their new beginnings.
What about you? What new beginning are you in right now? Can you look at your life and give thanks for the good things of the past as you embrace a new change? It might not be anything huge, it might be the time for you to start something good. Look around, what new thing is God doing in your life today?