Out with the Old, In with the New
As I write this it is the last day of Y2K. Tonight - New Year's Eve - we celebrate the passing of the old year and the bringing in of the new. Year 2000 has become the old man who is about to die, and we will celebrate his passing by evaluating his life.. It is done. It is over. What has happened has happened. As much as we might want to change it, we can only judge it. And that we will do. Just as we have done every year of our lives.
But don't despair, for as the old dies the new is born! It is a fresh start. It is a chance to begin again. Its days are, as of yet, unmarred and without any mistakes or screw-ups. And we look forward with a renewed hope of the wonderful things that could happen.
Contrary to all the hype surrounding Y2K, 2001 is the real beginning of the new millennium. Do you know what that means? That's right, last year was only a TRIAL RUN. We have another chance for a good start!! We stand at the threshold of a new year, a new century, a new millennium. Consider the possibilities!
But something inside us has already considered the possibilities, hasn't it? As much as we look forward to the hopes and dreams of a new beginning we cannot shake the reality that we have been here before and have judged the hopes and dreams of last year's new start as falling far short. Even the good years have to be graded on a curve as time eventually reveals losses that often far outweigh the gains.
We cannot escape the fact that next year's calendar ends, once again, on December 31. It happens EVERY year without fail. And it reminds us that nothing really becomes new, but that instead, the little baby enters only to end as the old man to be judged as not meeting up to expectations.
Maybe that's why we view the new creation in Christ as being such a failure. Is it possible that we have simply adopted the futile cycle of the world's new as being the same as God's new? Is that why we have created a renewable Christian Life that can be started over when messed up?
Don't we know that the new creation has no calendar to mark the passing of its days, neither its beginning nor its end? There is no December 31 for the new creation nor is there a January 1 for that matter. For the one who is born of God is not given a new start, but has been brought into a new LIFE that has Christ as both the beginning and the end. It is as sure as HE is because He is that life.
The failure (we cannot help but see) and the need for renewal is all found within the confines of the old cycle. Somehow, we have Christianized that cycle and therefore have insisted that we must continue answering to it and fashioning our lives according to it. But the good news tells us that Jesus put an end to the old life when He was killed on that cross - INCLUDING an end to its cycle. The new in Christ never becomes old for it is removed from the realm of sin and death. It remains as new as the risen life of Christ.
How you judge the new creation will determine how you view yourself and your world today.
Until next time .....
the shovel (aka Jim)