Author: Kent Smith
Reflection: v. 18, ‘do not remember the former things’
Memory is a tricky thing. Things we think of as ‘unforgettable’ may stay with us for a long time, but the details can get fuzzy: the time of day, the season, what we were wearing. Psychologists have shown human memory will lose traction, slip up, make mistakes. Like an old tape, the fidelity of our memory can wear out, get grainy, colors blur and fade. Our relationships are built on memories, trust or lack thereof is forged on what happened before. For many of us, that’s a tough ask to have only your past speak for you, especially an imprecise past. We make mistakes and gain perspective, and sometimes that can come too late for many people. Even if we don’t remember all the facts, the feeling of hurt remains. While Isaiah makes a case to remember the past, this passage goes a step further. God says, ‘Even though I was there for you before, okay, forget the past. You don’t need every detail. I’m making a pledge on the future. You can let go of the past. You are released from that! The new offer I make will be better than the old one you were getting. I want good and better things for you. I give you hope for the future!’ That is good news indeed! Our memories and feelings may not stay sharp, but God is not done working. There is more to hope for and good memories to be made on the horizon.
Prayer God, give us faith to trust in the bright future you want for us.