What can the new year bring?

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

As you read the title and looked at the picture, I can understand if you may have wondered what this post was about. Perhaps you thought, though incorrectly, that there is a marriage looming on the horizon. Or maybe you thought a trip to some beautiful area is in the books. Not exactly. Both thoughts, however, are steps in the right direction.

The title is meant to help the reader focus on what we might each be (or perhaps should be) yearning for as we enter this new year. The last couple of years have been anything but normal as we knew it. Let’s be real–all that we thought was normal sort of blew up in our faces, didn’t it? So much changed, and so much of that was radical change. We had to learn new things, new ways, on the fly. We had to learn to embrace trial and error. We had to learn to accept that our normal, as we knew it, was just that–as we knew it. The dreaded term “new normal” became a thing whether we embraced it or not. Out of the past couple of years one thing stands out to me as one of the more important offshoots needed as a result of the chaos we have all endured during that time–the need for hope. The new year can bring us tremendous hope if we will open our hearts to it.

Sitting here today, the first day of a new year, and particularly in this time, I decided to think of it as on the pivot point separating chaos from the insecurity of the unknown. We know what the past couple of years have been like, and many of us have probably felt less than secure looking toward the future. Based on our recent experiences and things we have had to endure, that would be perhaps “normal”. Here, to me, enters a need–a need for something new, something I can label as normal. Hope fills that bill perfectly.

Reading in the book of Revelation (Rev. 21:1-5) I found what I felt was an entirely appropriate need filler for me, one that I could not only equate to the future, but to the now. That reading jumpstarted a recollection of how it was when this thing called life was started. God created perfect. God created perfectly. And from the time we read of that in Genesis until the time we close the book with Revelation, one thing is consistently true–God always wins. What I saw in this section of scripture as I read it today is the end game–He’s coming back to be with His Bride, the New Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb. That offers me so much hope, and indeed it should all of us because we are the church, the Bride, the New Jerusalem. And we can double down on the hope because He clearly promises that He will make everything new.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

Revelations 21:1-5

Why not allow your new year to bring just one thing new—a renewed sense of hope. Hope based on the word. Hope based on His promise. If you can do that, your “new normal” will never need to change with the changing times, because it will be called hope.

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