In the Lectionary

November 13, Ordinary 33C (Isaiah 65:17–25)

Given time, things can grow back.

The isaiah text for this week lays out something of an urban design plan: homes, food, jobs, fair labor, no infant mortality, and a generous life expectancy. I’d like to live there.

In some ways I do. Life expectancy, literacy, and standards of living are at an all-time high worldwide. Hunger, child mortality, and extreme poverty have declined.

But it doesn’t feel like things are better than ever, at least not in my day-to-day reality. This is probably partly why this passage is so evergreen and has spoken to so many generations. Day-to-day things can feel frightening and disappointing.