Happy New Year!
“New” is the core message of the gospel. A new Kingdom has broken into this world, grounded in a new covenant, marked by new-creation-lives, who experience a new Spirit as they live out a new commandment.
I didn’t finish 2014 particularly well.
Somewhere along the line, after last summer, I got bogged down in busyness and buried by the tyrannically urgent. I finished the Fall with projects done, classes finished, and most of my major work-goals met…but, in hindsight, I didn’t finish well.
I thought that new ideas, new circumstances, or new projects would rejuvenate me. They did, but only momentarily and only superficially. I thought that new people, new “things,” and new achievements would restore the spirit. They served, instead, to distract me from spiritual sensitivity. What I thought would invigorate me, actually diminished me.
I’ve been pondering and praying this past week or two about this new year. I’d like a stronger 2015 than 2014. I’d like some change. I’d like something new. Perhaps you feel the same way.
I’m tempted by the readily tangible—new areas to serve, new friendships to cultivate, and new places to travel and see.
But the new I most need lies within; renewal of the soul and spirit, renewal of hope and joy, renewal of faith and love. I’m realizing that the new that will make this a truly rich new year, is the transforming new that only the Spirit of Christ can produce.
I’d like to think, pray, and write this year about the church. I’d like to blog about the wonder of grace. I’d like to have conversations about new trends within education. But the starting point is not the renewal of everything beyond me, but the renewal of everything within me (Galatians 6:15). That’s surely true for us all.
This week, this month, and this year, may Christ renew us if we have faltering faith, aching hearts, lonely souls, or hardening hope. I look forward to renewing the Journey with you.
Because of grace.