Behold, I am making all things new.
– Revelation 21:5
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
The snow fell all day, blanketing the yard and surrounding hills in a soft white whisper.
Christmas still adorns our house, although the ornaments are sagging on the tree. Little piles of unused Christmas wrap and orphan presents wait to be assimilated into our home. Bits of artificial snow sparkle on the floor. Like a frayed blanket, the season is showing a ragged edge.
An infant year sits just a few days away, glowing with the hope of a new beginning. Magazine ads feed into my desire for a fresh start, promising me a hard body, renewed vigor, and financial success if I’ll just buy in at the winter sale price.
Starting over sounds really good right now. The truth is, though, I’ll be dragging some baggage into 2016: a broken foot and a few other consequences of life choices. Some things, like a bad foot, can’t be fixed as easily as realizing we’ve messed up. The decisions we make every day create ripples into our future, for good or evil. Some things we do are just mistakes, like picking the wrong brand of salsa for tacos; others are the result of deliberate and flawed moral choices. Either way, we will live with the consequences of our failures.
But we can lose the guilt.
Jesus knows we aren’t perfect. The whole point of His coming, His death on the cross, and His resurrection was to deliver us from ourselves. Our sins were nailed to the cross with Him and washed away by His blood. Guilt, the consciousness of wrongdoing, is the spear that drives us to the cross. There, we are crucified with Him and raised to a new life.
Fresh, pure, and new, just like a winter snow.
This new beginning will last long after New Year’s resolutions have been pitched and the treadmill relegated to the garage. It’s the chance to listen to another voice besides the selfish one inside us, the opportunity to move with God and in God and because of God.
A new beginning, all year long, is as near to us as a prayer. Thank God, we don’t have to wait a whole year to start over. In Jesus, every day can be New Year’s Day.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
– Jeremiah 43:18 (NIV)