Focal Passage: Isaiah 2:1-6, 13, 20-22
For some reason I always thought “new” was one of those words. Do you know what I mean? There are certain words which simply do not need a qualifier of any kind. Not some overused adverb or even a well placed adjective. There is no such thing as “very pregnant.”
One cannot be “seriously dead” as opposed to some other kind of not living state. What is the difference after all between new and brand new? And can something really be “new again?” Split the semantic hair with me if you must, but really isn’t “new” descriptive enough by itself? Aren’t things pretty much either new or old?
In church circles we don’t add a qualifying descriptive word to new, instead we add a prefix. (Of course we also often add a suffix, but the significant part is the “re” we put in front of new.) When we do, we are saying exactly that we are “new again.” Is this possible? More specifically, we talk of being made new again through some process of renewal that an encounter with the Most High God brings on. Back in western N.C. where I grew up, “a come to Jesus” meeting wasn’t exactly something you looked forward to, as it usually involved discipline of a parent, not coming closer to God.
We go even a step further. We speak of spiritual “mountain top experiences” and of having an “ah-ha” moment with God. We come down from, or out of such an experience with a renewed vigor in our daily Christian walk. Maybe the word fails us, maybe it isn’t exactly new again, but fresh or revived, but the point here is made.
When speaking of what one biblical commentator calls the “Future of the House of God” the Prophet Isaiah talks of many people coming and going up to the mountain of the Lord. The imagery is so real and is used to remind us that in our humanity, we do occasionally fall away from the high and lifted up place that should be our walk with God. We must then seek out ways we can see, as Isaiah labels it, the “glory of His majesty” as if viewing it for the first time.
We must, in our spiritual walks at least, constantly find ways to become new again!