By Pastor Bill Lynch
When January comes around, newness is often in the air. Some of it is the new things that we received as gifts at Christmas time. We have a new year before us and may wonder what all it will bring. Of course there are also the thoughts about New Year’s resolutions, too, whether we make any or not.
Newness is also what our faith in Christ brings to us. Although we first read the term when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, Peter really fills out the meaning in his first letter when he says, “he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.”
In different language Paul tells us the same thing in 2 Corinthians that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Just as we face the New Year with a clean slate, the past is frozen in time and the future is waiting to be written.
Another thought about newness comes from Romans 12:2 where we are challenged to no longer be conformed “to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We can become so inundated with the messages of the world around us that we begin to think as they do. The challenge of newness here is to develop and protect a truly Biblical way of seeing the world.
I think that we are all aware that growing in the likeness of Christ is not instantaneous but is a process that continues over time. In Ephesians we are encouraged to “put off your old self…” and “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
So, looking ahead to the New Year, let’s embrace it with the expectation and promise that is ours in Christ.
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