January 1, 2016

All things new

And the (one) sitting on the throne said,
“Look! I am making all+ (things) new.”
And he says,
“Write! Because these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:5, RAW
Happy New Year!
When we take down the old calendar and put up a new one, I get thinking about this new year. What could I accomplish this year? Which of my dreams could I make a reality in the next 365 days? All the hopes for myself, my family, my church, my community, my world…
And God says,
“What will I make new?”
Indeed! I can make all the plans I want, but God’s plans are the ones that will really happen!

I was struggling with the message this week—the first sermon of the new year for my church. It’s called “Hope for When the Bottom Falls Out” and it’s based on the destruction of Jerusalem and exile of nearly all the Jews (2 Kings 25 and 2 Chron 36).
Not exactly an inspiring passage.
I wish I could preach it like my colleague, who wrote the title and already prepared his sermon and showed it to me. But I just couldn’t get in the right frame of mind--his frame of mind. “I guess I’m just not as good as my colleague.” I bemoaned my pitiful state to God.
Later, I realized one of my hopes for the new year: that I would care about my church more. That I would be warmer and more approachable. It’s my hope, but I think it’s God’s hope, too.
So I kept the title (it’s already printed) but I put aside my colleague’s sermon. I will speak to the church about the hope we have in God. I will speak about my hope in God, my trust in God. I will encourage and invite them to do the same.
New year, same God.
Blessed New Year!

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