The Wonder of Newness
A sense of awe and wonder filled the air. Stillness. Change, slow and deliberate, like the minuscule movement of a minute hand in count down. Synergy, as one moment ends and another begins. Anticipation rises as dark gives way to dawn. The beauty of light rising out of the depths of night into the majesty of dawn: a new day! Such is a sunrise in the Great Smoky Mountains of Townsend, Tennessee, where we occasionally enjoy some R & R on a high hilltop cabin.
While newness in the physical, as in a new day, is wonderful, so also is the concept of newness in the spiritual, as in the new birth.
As new creations in Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:17), God has blessed us with the new birth. “His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). Additionally, there is a future reality for God’s people, the new heaven and new earth, of which He says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Pondering these truths brings to mind that God is in the newness business and evokes within me praise and thanksgiving!
In context of our witness, as the new chapter called 2023 begins in our lives, we can, with hope and anticipation, consider the potential for new opportunities, new experiences, and perhaps new relationships. For 2023 brings forth a new season of striving to know God and making Him known.
Whether you are a seasoned missionary, feel like a witnessing flunky, or land somewhere in between, the truth is that none of us ever arrives. You see, we don’t rest on our laurels and the past doesn’t necessarily equal the future. For the great commission mandate to go and make disciples of all nations continues and much work remains to be accomplished as the Lord continues to build His Church.
As we strive to grow as witnesses for Jesus, there will be new opportunities to learn, to show God’s love, and to share the gospel. Perhaps there will be new relationships to forge or existing relationships to grow, all for the purpose of being salt and light.
While newness is beautiful and fresh with opportunity, the mandate to be a witness remains a constant:
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching”
(2 Timothy 4:2).
As this new year commences, may God renew our witness as we recommit to be salt and light in a world filled with people desperately in need of the new birth found in Christ Jesus our Lord.