The promise of Isaiah 65 is that God is doing a new thing. What's taking God so long?
We Christians believe that we have a moral obligation to point to the pain that the rest of the world can’t see. Others may stroll past the suffering, but we stop and stare, take up an offering, make an appeal and collect blankets, sighing as we do our bit to alleviate some of the misery. That life may not actually be rotten in our part of the world today only increases our guilt for our occasional lapses into joy. How dare we sing when others are sufffering?
The first disciples experienced Jesus’ resurrection not as some single triumphant fait accompli, but by fits and starts.
This is no voluntary association, no transactional contract. The sheep do not earn the shepherd or elect him.
The disciples are afraid, so they lock their doors. I do the same.