Layer of snow as fresh as the calendar page, below frigid temps and sky-high hopes for a (hashtag) new year, new me. Ours is a society brimming with desire to re-create ourselves with the drop of the Waterford crystal ball in Times Square. I honestly thank God that we live in a culture where reflection and forward facing hopes are rhythmical notes in our celebrating. I too, love a fresh start.
I wonder, however, how much of my hopes for grandness in the new year, are actually hopes that I can fundamentally transform myself. Desperate with earthly optimism that just maybe this is the year I pull myself together once and for all: squeezing out every drop of positive productivity, organizing a color-coded cleaning schedule, resurrecting before the daily dawn, revealing my best physical and emotional health, sticking to a regimen of water replacing coffee, cardio replacing couching, persevering in the yearly Bible reading plan, and most certainly the 2018 new-year-new-me will not lose her chill with her children and husband.
I know, my friend, I hope for newness too. I firmly believe we have all the freedom in the world, purchased by Christ Jesus, to be resolution people or not.
But my dear friends, there is even better news than the newness that came last week. Newness in Christ came once for all, and again with every single sunrise.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Two entirely different contexts from these authors, but only one God who gives sweet mercy. Paul, writing to a church with all kinds of crazy town issues, giving them marching orders about how to carry themselves as believers and how to view each other from the lens of Christ. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, writing from one of the most dismal points of the history of God’s people when they marched into disciplined exile for their years of failure to love the God who heaped His perfect love on them. His love is given to you once and for all, and also in the daily doses our hearts long for every calendar day.
Honestly, can you imagine? Waking up every morning, and for anyone who has received His free gift of mercy, entirely beloved and given a new heart? “I have loved you with an everlasting love!” with the sunrise, waiting for you before you even look in the mirror or press down your coffee grounds? He has replaced your heart of stone with His resurrected heart of flesh! You already are new!
I don’t know what 2018 holds for you, dear friend. Our company of Hopers is a mixed bag too… Anxiously awaiting news any day for one with a little baby arriving earthside, others with heartaches that didn’t dissolve with the countdown to a new year and waiting still for deliverance. Perhaps you are beholding the newness of who Christ has made you to be with resounding joy, and bouncing out of bed for you beckons brightness of countenance. Perhaps your head is dipped low in defeat. Perhaps you find yourself in the throes of absolute mundane mediocrity and there is a sweet contentment right between the peak and valley.
I just hope to remind you, though it might not carry any new information, but news that must be good for us today as always.
You already are new, and you are so very beloved by Him.