This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
In 1964, Sam Cooke released a song that would become a permanent anthem on the soundtrack of protests. His lyrics eerily mimic the sentiment of a people 54 years removed from this song:
Then I go to my brother
And I say, brother, help me please
But he winds up, knockin’ me
Back down on my knees
Oh, there been times that I thought
I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able, to carry on
It’s been a long
A long time coming
But I know a change gonna come
Oh, yes it will
I, like many pastors and preachers, began this year preaching about vision. The year, 2020, gave many opportunities to preach about having spiritual clarity and vision to move forward in the things of God. I admonished people to petition God for wisdom and understanding and to take advantage of the invitation given by James when he wrote, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. I held to the conviction that God would provide clarity for their opacity. Fast forward several riots, bogus trials, murdered bodies, civil unrest, economic collapse, closed churches, unauthorized gatherings, and a global pandemic later. I want to know, what do you see? What has God shown you through the murkiness of this year? What has collapsed and what has remained? Economic systems collapsed. Church traditions collapsed. Political strongholds collapsed. The prophet Isaiah recorded God saying that God is doing a new thing and wondered if we were able to behold it.
Have your eyes been opened to the newness God has created in 2020? Have your eyes been opened to a new way of loving each other? A new way of caring for one another? Do you not perceive it? Can you not understand it? God has broken into humanity in antiquity and is still with us today opening our eyes to what matters most. During this season of advent, take a moment to reflect on all that has been abolished and what remains. God’s Word and love are still here. Do you see it?
Rev. Dr. Tasha M. Brown is a pastor and entrepreneur. She is the leader of the Arise Prayer and Outreach Ministries, Inc. and oversees the spiritual growth and development of the ministries’ members.