Q: Confusing new and brand new?
“For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” — Isaiah 65:17
The difference between ‘new’ and ‘brand new’ confuses me. Is new just a bit old, like fresh baked bread that has been out on the counter all day long, whereas brand new, to continue the imagery, is s a loaf JUST out of the oven? We have vocabulary like ‘bright-brighter-brightest’ and ‘new, newer, newest,’ but how and when is new different than newest?
This verse is clear, isn’t it? God is about to create new heavens and a new earth. If God has already completed this new creation on the basis that Trito Isaiah is not a new (there’s that word again) text, we can assume the whole creating business is a one and done. The new heavens and the new earth have already been made new.
Then again, maybe God has yet to create these new heavens and the new earth. After all, the Maker of the stars is busy. We may not be the only ones with a to-do list. Perhaps the Creator hasn’t just gotten around to it yet.
On second thought, maybe this is not complicated. Maybe God is always is always creating. After all, grace is limitless. God keeps forgiving me of longstanding and (here comes the word again) new sins. (Or are they brand new sins?)
Maybe God never stops seeing our potential. Maybe any time any of us does something small or large scale for the Kingdom of God as agents for God, new hopes, new sparks, and new, life affirming energies comes about, or brand new hopes, sparks and energies come about.
God is our God of infinite brand new starts. (Here I do mean to use the words brand new.) God is constantly making things brand new. With God, every mark, stain, scratch or dent on our soul is not permanent. Every ache is not final. Every loss is not forever. God is not done. From love, God is not done with us. Instead, our hurts are a part of God’s never-ending rejuvenating process.
Let’s save the debate on new and brand new for another day. Let’s focus on—and live into—this awesome, never stopping, always grace-providing God who never stops creating, renewing and restoring.
PRAYER: Our nation received hard headlines the other day. God, do not make this an end. Instead, make this event and other events that will follow a potential to build with You something new or brand new. Amen.