Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Fresh Start

“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5).

The New Year always brings high hopes and dreams. I must admit, however, that I am pretty cynical when it comes to New Year resolutions. Let’s face it…most of us make these resolutions and then give up on them in a matter of weeks. I hear that exercise gyms are absolutely packed in the month of January as people renew their commitment to fitness. Yet, by the end of February the gyms drop back to their normal attendance.

While I am a cynic about resolutions, I appreciate that the New Year gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. God is the God of second chances…who wants to make all things new. He promises us: a new heart (Ezekiel 36:2), a new birth (1 Peter 1:3), a new life (Romans 6:23), and a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1). Dr. Kinlaw, former president of Asbury College, writes: “As we look into the year that opens before us, we would like to think that it could be better than the one behind us. That yearning for something better is a gift from God and a promise that the hope can be realized. God wants the year before you to be the best that you have ever had.”

So…are you looking for a fresh start and a second chance? Good news! We worship a God who makes all things new!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent part 2-Anticipation

The season of advent is a time when Christians both remember the coming of Christ and anticipate his second coming. About 2000 years ago God broke into humanity in the form of a baby. Zechariah put it this way, " Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace" (Luke 1:78-79). What's interesting is that the light from heaven was hardly noticed. Perhaps many people didn't notice because they did not expect the Savior to come in the way he did...a little baby being born in a little town in a worn out manger. This is not what we expect to see when we think of heaven breaking upon us. Others may not have noticed because they were not expecting the Savior to come at all. Hundred of years had passed without a word from God. Rome had taken over and God seemed distant and quiet.

I believe that God continues to break upon humanity in many ways today. I believe God continually desires to break upon each of us in our daily lives. Yet many of us take little notice of God's coming. We are indifferent and ignore his promptings. We become desensitized to the work of the Holy Spirit. We live each day ignoring the fact that Christ is Emmanuel ("God with us"). My prayer this advent season is that we anticipate and welcome God breaking into our lives. I pray that we will wait expectantly for his grace…that we will be sensitive to his workings and desires. "The light from heaven is breaking upon us," let us have the faith to take notice.