July 5th Meditation
“Don’t remember the prior things; don’t ponder ancient history. Look! I’m doing a new
thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in
the wilderness.” Isaiah 43: 18-19 (CEB)
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ finished meeting in
Indianapolis earlier this week. We held the Synod in prayer during worship and we
should continue to pray for our wider church. Often, we feel quite separate in our rural
Erie County setting forgetting we are in covenant with a very vast, diverse, historical
This year the scripture theme for the gathering is the above passage from Isaiah.
A great passage to hold before God’s people in all times and places. God’s people, in
the time of Isaiah and even now, tend to remember how things were instead of how
things are becoming. God is not a static God. God is a creating, always on the move
God. We tend to like static, no change, “this-is-how-it-is- and-how-it-always-will-be”
thinking and believing. However, the God of history and scripture is constantly calling us
towards growth and transformation.
Our wider church keeps our “doing a new thing” God ever before us. The
General Synod of the UCC speaks to the local churches and not for the local churches.
Like Isaiah saying these words to God’s people in exile, the national UCC offers
prophetic words to God’s people on how to live and grow faithfully today. Each local
church, Association and Conference determines how they are going to live out God’s
vision in their setting. General Synod can often be challenging for us. Prophets have a
habit doing so – without their vision we can become blind to God’s vision for the world.
The God who makes a way in the desert is the same God who came in Christ is
the same God who continues to do new things in our midst. Do we not perceive it? This
was the focus General Synod put before the UCC body of Christ in Indianapolis. May
this be the focus we, as God’s people, keep before us always.