New! What a great word… “New!” It brings to mind all sorts of possibilities and opportunities. Who doesn’t love that “new car smell” or a “new” baby! Just think about the excitement of a “new” house or a “new” job! Consider the joy of a “new” friendship or a “new” adventure! “New” – what a great word!
So, here we are at a New Year in a new decade in a relatively new century. Pretty cool!
For many this is just what we need. That sense of “new” is bright with possibilities. That is, for those with the “glass is half full” mentality. After what was for many a tough year, we can optimistically look at the New Year and dream the dreams of better things. We readjust to the present circumstances and begin the exciting prospects of advancing, improving and finding those new areas of opportunity to better our lives. “New” is the goal, “New” is the hope, and “New” is the brighter day!
The amazing reality is this… “New” is a state of mind. When your clock “magically” flipped over to 12:00:01 AM on 1/1/10 nothing really happened. When the “ball dropped” on the New Year, it was just a moment in time. The breath you inhaled at 11:59 PM on the 31st and exhaled on New Years morning didn’t have to leap over a hurdle, it was just the continuation of life.
And yet, if your attitude is positive, you can still feel the invigoration of “newness” in your spirit and it is a great feeling.
Now, consider for a moment that “New” could be real – not just a state of mind. That “New” could be more than just changing a calendar page – it could be a changed life! That “New” could be something more than mere abstract, it could be a certainty!
That is what God offers each of us through His Son, Jesus Christ! To be made New! As you read through the Gospels (Matthew – John in the New Testament) you will see encounter upon encounter where Jesus offers “New.” Not just a new attitude, but new life. From the dissatisfied political figure (John 3) to those in need (John 6) to those fearing the future (John 6) to the person with a questionable past (John 8) to those mourning a loss (John 11) – over and over again God, through Jesus offers the opportunity to really be “New” – and not just for a moment in time, but for eternity!
This is how one of Jesus’ followers put it: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version)
So, this Year, you can accept the somewhat exciting substitute of a “New” Year – or you can accept the totally invigorating opportunity for a “New” Life! I know what I would choose! “Happy New…Life!”
Roger Storms is pastor of Chandler Christian Church.