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Behold! I will Do a New Thing Isaiah 43:19

Happy New Year!   It’s 2015.  Does it seem different?  Does it feel different?  Have you even begun to stop noting things “2014”?   Supposedly it is different.  We treat it that way.  We talk of turning over a new leaf, of our dreams for a better year, of New Year’s Resolutions.  We even have an image for all of this—a new born baby boy to replace the aging old man that was 2014.

And yet, is it any different?  Are these days any different than those that have gone before?  Isn’t this idea of New Years a bit arbitrary?  Indeed we have the stop and start of all kinds of years at other points on our calendar.   School Years, Fiscal Years, the Liturgical year.  And then there are the Chinese and Jewish and Mayan calendars, just to name a few, which have a much different date noted as New Years.

When you stop and think about it then…there really isn’t anything necessarily special about this turning of the calendar.   And yet the good news is that there could be.   Yes, the good news is that any day can be the start of something new and positive and meaningful and hopeful, not just for you, but for those around you.   And the better news is that you and I will have something to with that...by the choices and decisions we will make, by the priorities we will choose.  Yes, with God’s help, we get to participate in the “new thing” that God is seeking to bring to pass this day and every day, regardless of the date a chronologist wants to put on it. 

Yes, this New Year can be new.  It can be new because we decide to try something new for the first time.  I think such brand spanking newness is needed in our lives, at least every once in a while, so I encourage you to go for it. 

 But for the most part, I think the meaningful new will come from the raw material of what has been.   Such newness is at the heart of the gospel message.  It’s the meaning of redemption.  Its why salvation and salvage and salve all have the same root, and largely the same meaning.  So can 2015 be new?   You bet it can.   But its best newness may come from what we choose to do with what 2014 has left us.  

What will we do with the civil and racial unrest that Ferguson and New York left us?  Will we dare to listen to those different than us?  Better yet, will we make a new friend?  Will we dare to get otherwise involved?

What will we do with the grief we carry from friends that have died?  Will we withdraw or despair or will we vow to live life all the more fully?   Will we rise to carry on their legacy?  Will we fill in the gaps?  Will we invite others to do the same?

What will we do with the life-giving and life-sustaining and joy-filled aspects of 2014?  Will we continue them?  Can we grow them?  Can we share them?  Can we pass them on?

I write this article in the middle of Advent, when we remember that a young mother waits to give birth to another baby boy, one which will bring much newness.  Madeleine L’Engle’s wonderful poem Young Mary, begins and ends with this amazingly profound understatement, “I know not all of that which I contain.”I think that’s how I feel about this baby we call 2015.  We have no idea of all that it will contain.  But the majority of whatever it will be, already is.  It’s just a question of what we will do with it.Happy New Year my friends.  May it be filled with God’s “New Thing.”

 Grace, David


This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the January edition of Together.


Posted by Bridget Ellis at 8:00 AM
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