The New Is Here

THE NEW IS HERE!                By Pastor Dorothy Wilcox

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 “Happy New Year!”  We heard the phrase at every greeting, from close friends to strangers in the market:  every one of us gave and received this wish for blessing in the coming year, too many times even to begin to count:  Happy New Year.

 But in only a few days, the phrase faded from all conversation.  It sounded out-of-date if we heard it at all.  We moved on to more daily and practical concerns.  The year was no longer new:  it was just a fact, and something to be managed and survived.

This can happen to us as Christians, too.  We say, without much thought, commitment, or reflection, “yes, of course, I’m a Christian,” and we treat it as just a fact, a box already checked so that we can move on to our daily concerns.  We can too easily lose our grasp of the newness of life, especially Christian life.

 Jesus said “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NRSV) Jesus himself tells us that he came so that we do not merely survive, but thrive!  He came so that we would not just remember but experience the blessings of God that are given to us daily!

 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

    his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

 Every morning that you wake up is a gift.  Every breath that you draw is a gift.  Every challenge is an opportunity, a gift.  Jesus came so that you would experience the steadfast and unending love of God, new every morning in your own life.

Cross of Glory twines two threads:  the new-every-morning Good News of Jesus Christ for you today, and the ancient traditions and teachings of Christ’s life and ministries in which He established His Church community.  In the coming seasons we will be strengthening both of those threads:  we will ensure that our worship experience is up-to-date and relevant for your life, while also ensuring that we are Biblically sound, that we are firmly rooted and growing in the unfailing and unchanging Word of God. 

 We need you, your presence and your prayers, to make this happen.  You make a difference because we are different without you:  it matters that you are part of the whole people of God, and it matters that you help us worship well and wholly.

 Make or renew your commitment to participating in worship.  Can you come every week?  Commit to that.  Only once a month?  Then make it your commitment to be there at least once a month, and not just if you have nothing else to do.  Come and experience the newness of life in an active Christian commitment.

 “Happy New Year” has already tarnished and faded; we’ve set it aside.  Receive in its place one of the oldest blessings in the Bible, one for a life of abundance and good, one that is fulfilled in Jesus’s giving us new life and abundant life:

 May God give you heaven’s dew

and earth’s richness –

an abundance of grain and new wine.