Inspired by Isaiah 40:1-11
“The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NRSV)
The world looks very different from the way it did in biblical times. Even within the bible itself we have stories spanning over a thousand years, with the oral traditions of Genesis predating by several hundred years the Davidic kingdom, which itself predated the days of Jesus by another thousand years. The patriarchs’ world was much different from the prophets’ world, and even the prophets’ worlds differed according to when and where they were writing. The Greco-Roman culture of the New Testament would have been unrecognizable to the newly freed Hebrew slaves of Egypt.
Yet through it all God’s word remains.
God’s word is eternal and unchanging, but our world is not. God’s good creation can accommodate countless cultures, societies, and political realities. We need not attempt to recreate the social norms of biblical times in order to live faithfully to the God revealed in the bible; God’s word is applicable to all times, places, and cultures. God has declared that he will be our God, and we will be his people. Loving him and proclaiming his goodness is not dependent upon recreating a particular political reality or set of social norms; God’s word is constant in an ever-changing world, and his love transcends time, geography, and culture.
Let us pray. Eternal God, your Word was before the beginning of creation, and will remain at the end of all things. Help us to focus on your timeless commandments of love, justice, and mercy, that we may work to proclaim your grace in our own contexts. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.