“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting mens’ sins against them.”— 2 Corinthians 5:17-19a.
It is hard to believe it is the last day of August! The nights have gotten cooler, the incessant insect/cricket buzz is at its peak, the pool is shutting down this weekend, the leaves are starting to turn. I’ve bought school supplies for my kids, celebrated my daughter’s birthday, finished summer projects, and attended the State Fair—baby, it’s time to start the fall!!
At this time of year, I think of new beginnings. I think we all do. Our kids get a year older. New challenges confront us. Programs are starting up. Life is taking on a new direction for many in some way. The people in Houston and other areas ravaged by the hurricane have been on my mind this week. As I look at the news and pictures, I am struck by the new beginnings the city and those people in need face. What is their “new beginning” this week? Kids heading back to school? I think not. Tens of thousands are displaced, sleeping in shelters, furniture stores, cars, etc… Companies are on the brink of economic disaster. From board rooms to shelters, I think the last thing on their minds are school supplies, fall celebrations, and back-to-school parties. Their new beginnings are finding food, clothing, water, medical care, and shelter. Chemical company explosions bring new beginnings of chemical and environmental concerns, rising gas prices for the rest of us, dwindling oil and jet fuel from pipelines shut down. Their tomorrows are on the edge of a cliff, they have no idea what they will do. I can’t imagine being in a situation like that, but they are. And that could be any of us.
I like the passage above from 2 Corinthians because it reminds me that with God, every day is new. With Christ in our hearts, we can be new creations and begin anew, each and every day. God made a way to reconcile the whole world to Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so that all may be forgiven and know Him forever. As we face new beginnings in our lives (either good or bad), we are not alone. Christ walks with us. Christ walks with us in the good joyful beginnings, and the dark crushing ones. This is a gift from God.
This next week, let us pray for our new beginnings. Perhaps you are starting a new job. Perhaps you have a new medical journey. Perhaps you are starting a new hobby, or moving to a new house, or have a new grandchild. Perhaps you are letting go of your teen who is attending college for the first time. Wherever your new beginning is, give thanks to God. Commit to being a new creation, knowing He is always walking by your side!
Prayer— “God of new beginnings, I am a new creation because of you. Thank you for your gift of forgiveness, so that I may be with you always. As I start new beginnings in my life, I trust your guidance and direction to show me the way. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”