God doesn’t stop moving in new ways—the constant surprise of witnessing God’s work is part of the Christian life.
And yet, the older I get the more I am struck by how little things actually change. Oh sure, there is this whole new thing called the Internet – which really is not so new anymore – but look at it closely. The wastelands of social media, filled with dismissal, insult, and vile proclamations, are in the end nothing new. They are just the latest reflection of the rot that fills our insides. They may be a new place for us to spill our bile in new ways, but it is the same bile and the same spirit that animates the spillage. It may be a new medium, but the message has not changed in forever.
Do you honestly think Donald J Trump is the first president to be vilified by opponents beyond all reason? Read your history – he may be the first to suffer the vilification with a media this loud and this omnipresent – but the vilification is as old as the nation.
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
There is much more to this “new creation” business than turning the calendar and making a few resolutions.
The question I am reflecting on this new year is why, despite the promises of new creation in Christ, do the words of the writer of Ecclesiastes ring so true these 2000 years after Christ’s coming?
The answer to my question lies in something Paul wrote not to the church in Corinth, but to the church in Galatia:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
See, that talks about HOW we become those new creations. We have to be crucified with Christ. Christ’s crucifixion saves us the actual physical and spiritual death that would otherwise have been our fate, but that does not mean we do not have to sacrifice and surrender. To actually become new creations we have to get out of the drivers seat of our lives and put Jesus in it. That, dear friends, may not be the insurmountable barrier that existed before Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection., but it is still a tall and difficult order. We cannot make ourselves new creations, we have to let God do it.
As the year turns, let’s not resolve to lose weight or read more. Let’s resolve to surrender to Christ, and let Him make us into the new creations He intends and we are promised.