Greetings Aberdeen and Safe Harbor folks. I wanted to share with you some thoughts about the New Year and some recollections of New Years’ past.
It was New Year’s Eve, 1999. I was in the living room of our first house, and it was approaching midnight. My favorite pop music artist, Sting, was about to get on stage and play a song from his (relatively) new album. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I was wondering if the lights were going to go out (remember Y2K?).
Clock hits 12… the lights stay on… there is a sigh of relief!
Sting breaks into the song Brand New Day. Here are some of the lyrics to his song:
How many of you people out there/Been hurt in some kind of love affair?
And how many times did you swear/That you’d never love again?
How many lonely, sleepless nights?/How many lies, how many fights?
And why would you want to/Put yourself through all of that again?
The singer then picks up an old picture album. He looks through old picture album and remembers better times. And he begins to have hope for a new beginning in his romantic relationship.
Why don’t we turn the clock to zero, honey/I’ll sell the stock, we’ll spend all the money
We’re starting up a brand new day
Turn the clock all the way back/(I wonder if she’ll take me back)
I’m thinking in a brand new way
New beginnings… recapturing what was lost… the hoping for something better! New Year’s is a time of celebrating new beginnings, new possibilities. But I have to ask the question: why should this year be any different than last? Didn’t we have the same hope last New’s Years Eve?
Let’s hear a word from God that may make the difference!
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Hope is essential to life, but what we have here is more than a wish for something better. God’s gives the promise of it! “I am making all things new!” He will do it… He is doing it!”
My brother was a pastor here in St. Louis area. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack just about 17 years ago. My oldest child was about 3 ½ years… very young but old enough to remember to remember his uncle.
The next Christmas, we received a Christmas ornament… a small picture frame with my brother’s picture in it that we could hang on the tree… and we did. One Christmas a couple of years later, we noticed that the ornament was missing from the tree. It had made it up to my child’s room and was hanging on the the door knob inside his room. During regular bedtime routine of reading and prayer, I asked about it. He grew quiet…and then he asked me this questions: “Dad… you know that passage where it says God will wipe every tear from our eyes?” “Yes.” “Is that true?” What a question from one so young! I paused and then said gently but very deliberately: “Yes… it’s true.”
It’s a promise.
And with that promise comes certainty. Perhaps not certainty about the details of our lives, but a promise that the New Day will show itself in places as it comes true. A promise that one day there will be a Brand New Day where death and tears are undone and the world will be right and we will see Him! It is the end game of grace. Jesus living a life of righteousness for us and then dying the death we deserved was meant to restore God’s original purpose: perfect fellowship with Him in paradise! And because of that grace, he promises us that end.
So grace creates certainty.
We may experience all kinds of things in a fallen world as we follow in hope the possibilities but the end is certain and it’s glorious! It’s not dependent on our efforts, or strength of will to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions. Its dependent on his strength and intention! Its certain!
And with certainty comes peace.
Can you live in that certainty, that peace this year? It begins with trusting Christ… taking him at his word. And it continues on as we each day trust him anew for that ultimate Brand New Day. I am praying you can expereince some of that peace and certainty in the New Year!
Happy New Year to you all!