A Wild Imagining of Liberation

A Wild Imagining of Liberation


Rev. Becca Lockwood is the minister at First Parish Church United in Westford, MA. She loves spending time outside and is passionate about deepening our relationship to each other and the world around us.

Scripture: Isaiah 65: 17-25 (The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation)

New Heavens and a New Earth

“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.
“Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.


Reflection: A Wild Imagining of Liberation


Reading this passage today, in the midst of ongoing division, hatred, inequality, systems designed to oppress and separate…the words of Isaiah feel both like a balm of hope and a ludicrous vision of the impossible.

It is increasingly hard to imagine this world and how it would take shape in the here and now…and yet. This co-creation, this wild imagining of liberation is the exact work we’ve been called to as people of faith, as people bound to each other and the Sacred.

The “how” can be elusive and maddening. We all too easily get lost in the weeds of church operations, not enough volunteers, and our own biases to dismantle. (The list goes on…)
So how do we stay grounded, upheld, and inspired? Remembering how we are connected to each other and the earth around us, we can look and listen for wisdom there. Nature and the wisdom of those who have tread this path alongside us can quiet the chaos, or untangle the knot long enough to help us move through the next step.

Recently, these words from Joanna Macy recentered me, “We hear you fellow creatures. We know we are wrecking the world and we are afraid. Don’t leave us alone, we need your help. Are there powers you can share with us? ‘I am caterpillar. The leaves I eat taste bitter now. But dimly I sense a great change coming. What I offer you, humans, is my willingness to dissolve and transform. I do that without knowing what the end-result will be; so I share with you my courage too.”

For it will require the dissolution of the old world, the dismantling of oppressive and imperialistic systems in order to transform it into a world of beauty, diversity, and justice.


Liberating One, grant us wisdom and patience, trusting in the creative process and the transformative collaboration with the Spirit.

New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at cochranem@sneucc.org.

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war.
  • For those grieving or suffering due to the ~37,300 gun violence deaths in the US this year
  • For the climate crisis, where recent studies have shown that some glaciers are on the brink of vanishing

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

 This Week in History:

November 6, 1962 (60 years ago):  The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calling on all its members to end economic and military relations with the country. [History

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Becca Lockwood

Rev. Becca Lockwood is the minister at First Parish Church United in Westford, MA. She loves spending time outside and is passionate about deepening our relationship to each other and the world around us.

November 06, 2022
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