‘Making all things new’

By the Rev. James Anderman,
Lead Pastor, Covenant UMC, Springfield PA

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!   2 Corinthians 5:17

As we begin a new year, it’s natural to think about New Year’s resolutions, new starts, and putting our past behind us.  For some there is a desire to drop a few pounds, for others the goal is a new job, and maybe for all of us a closer walk with the Lord.  What are your goals and how do you plan to accomplish them?

When I think about the opportunities a new year brings, I am reminded of a fresh blanket of snow.  The snow changes the look of the landscape: unsightly leaves left on the lawn disappear, there is no litter to be seen in the street, the tree branches are coated in white, and everything takes on a crisp clean look.  It’s picture perfect!

Ah, but therein lies the problem.  It’s “picture perfect,” yet beneath the snow leaves are still on the ground and litter is still in the street.  A few degrees rise in temperature will return everything to the way it was, well almost!  Little has really changed; there are no permanent improvements.  If anything, things may be worse than they were before.  Leaves are matted together, litter is stuck in place, and tree branches are stressed from the weight of the snow.

So it is with our lives.  Each day and each year brings fresh opportunities to accomplish our goals, strengthen our relationship with the Lord, and become a better person.  But it takes work, sometimes really hard work!  If I truly want to drop the extra pounds, I need to drop the fork, drop the extra-large helping, and learn to be satisfied with a more appropriate serving.  If you want a new job, you need to apply for it; you may even need to hone your skills to qualify.  If we want to walk closer with the Lord, we need to spend time with God in prayer and then act in ways that are in accordance with God’s will.

In 2018 I’m going to drop the fork, the extra-large helping, and learn to be satisfied with the more appropriate serving, but more importantly, I’m going to spend more time with God in prayer and act in ways that are more in accord with God’s will.  I invite you to join me on the spiritual part of my journey.  Together let’s do the work needed to be God’s new creation.