On this last weekday of 2016 it seems to me a bit of divine synchronicity that I should read these words from the ancient prophet, Isaiah:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!”
Isaiah 43:18-19a (NIV)
Old gives way to new. Growth. Metamorphosis. Transformation. As I have journeyed through God’s Message these many years I find this to be one of the basic, recurring themes in all of God’s Message to us. In fact, it’s a recurring theme in all that God has created. God is all about transformation:
“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
– Jesus (Matthew 9:17)
“Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
– Jesus (Matthew 13:52)
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.”
– Jesus (Mark 2:21)
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Another year draws to a close. Once again I am prompted to reflect on where I’ve been, recognize where I am, and set course for where I’m going. I can’t do anything about yesterday. I am not guaranteed tomorrow. But I can choose what I think, say, and do today. I will set my trajectory. I can make a course correction. I can let go of that which has brought death. I can reach out and choose Life.
This morning, I find my spirit whispering (once again):
Grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.