“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth……And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God…..And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See I am making all things new.’” (taken from the Book of Revelation 21:1-5. bold emphasis, mine)
I have a new desk calendar. Its brand, spanking new! I was hesitant to start writing on it. When I finally did, I found that I was much more intentional about the neatness of my writing.
I carefully kept my letters within the designated line. There was just something about the fresh and clean newness of the desk calendar that seemed to invite my best efforts at legible penmanship.
If you’re like me, looking back on the year now past stirs a variety of thoughts and emotions. Like every year that has preceded it, the landscape of 2016 was dotted with its share of highs and lows.
As I type these words on the computer, sitting at the desk in my church office - an office and desk and keyboard that was brand new to me when I arrived in Highlands just six months ago - I’m reminded of the value of both, the new and the familiar. I’m grateful for the beauty, the freshness, and even the challenge of new things. And I’m thankful for the comfort, clarity and confidence that comes when new things, new places and people become familiar.
And as I ponder these words from the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelation, I’m reminded of a divine paradox. In the economy of God, a fresh newness can be found, even in the most familiar things. And what a gift, when new things have the ring of the familiar.
Perhaps that’s a helpful paradox to hold in our hearts and imagine in our minds these January days. Maybe simple things like the breaking in of a new desk calendar can serve to remind us of the value of viewing familiar things from a fresh perspective, or of finding familiarity in the face of the new.
So, while we await the fullness of God’s new heaven and earth, let’s daily strive to cultivate an authentic Christian walk. Let’s give our best to the God who delights in making all things new. Let us pray for eyes to see and ears to hear, that we might recognize the divine newness interwoven with things familiar to us. And may we chart our courses well, as we travel the new, unchartered, yet strangely familiar, 2017 terrain.