Some of those times when I have felt the most accomplished have been when I have, successfully, created something from nothing, or from chaos. Each year at the preschool, at the end of the summer, we would close down for a day to clean our classrooms in preparation for new children coming in. Well, three years ago I decided that after 5 years it was high time to move all the furniture into the center of the room to be rearranged. All the carpets were washed and picked up. I then stood back and looked over the room and I suddenly panicked as I looked at the chaos I had created. How was this going to ever be ready in time?
I had no help that day so this was all on me. What had I gotten myself into? But slowly as the hours ticked away the classroom began to take shape once more first the block area, next dramatic play, then the writing center and science centers, followed by the library/computer corner, the art center, and finally circle time/music center. As I finished a 10 hour day of heavy work, I looked back over what had come together and I felt the accomplishment of someone who created something from nothing. It inspired my heart with relief, joy, inspiration, and excitement for the year to come.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, Faith looks up”. We get little glimpses of the benefits and joys of creation at different points in life. They are meant to be a reminder of the joy, love, inspiration, and dedication of our God, who took a shapeless, chaotic mass and created all there is. But we must remember that creation didn’t stop after that first week. But rather creation is still happening. Creation is here in the present, in the panic of the mess. And it is promised for the future. Imagine a world recreated by God into the perfection it was always meant to be. This is one of my favorite images of God in the Bible. The creator God, God who painstakingly imagined a world filled with life and beauty. A heavenly artist whose creations come together more perfectly than any that we could create with our own two hands.
God creates just by his word. And still today he speaks his word to us and in so doing he creates in us the will to do his work, the will to care for others, to create the perfection in this world that God always intended. To bring an end to all war, all pain, to all the madness that humanity has created in all of its wisdom. But what does that world look like? What is God’s image of the perfect world? I believe Isaiah preaches such a world in our scriptures for this morning. He preached hope, creation, new beginnings, and promise rising up out of turmoil. Order and happiness in God’s presence.
Isaiah preached the image of perfection for his people. So he used the words and language to get the people to imagine what the kingdom of God would look like, feel like, the level of contentment that would be in all the land. God is speaking to us again to imagine what his perfection could be like. We are called to imagine the peace that we could experience. We are called to imagine what that promise would mean and how such a promise can inspire us to live better, to work for meaningful life experiences, to work for a better future for our children and grandchildren. John M. Frame wrote, “God is the word, and the word is God. So we conclude that wherever God is, the word is, and wherever the word is, God is. Whenever God speaks, he himself is there with us”.
God is with us today. He is asking us to stop looking behind us, to stop worrying so much about what is happening around us, and to look to him in faith asking him to create anew and to use us to shape this world away from hate and fear. With faith we can create love, we can affect tomorrow, and we can live fulfilled lives in the presence of God. It is all in how we imagine tomorrow, it is in how we let God imagine tomorrow. Today I share with you, just a portion of John Lennon’s Imagine, as I feel sometimes we all need to remember that the work we do in the world reflects our hopes, our joys, the work of the Lord in an imperfect world. (play song)
“O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things”. And he continues to do great things, to create new opportunities to live into the life he has offered each of us. So this week, contemplate just how he is calling each of you to work for his new creation, the world he has imagined for humanity.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th Century Poet.
 Frame, John M. The Doctrine of the Word of God, 63.
 Psalm 98: 1, NRSV.