All Things New
“New” can be both exciting and scary, exhilarating and terrifying. “New” holds all the potential of our hopes for what could be along with all our fears of what might be. Throughout scripture, God seems to constantly be walking this line when it comes to doing something “new.” The ‘newness’ of Creation held all the hope for a world where humanity lived in perfect harmony — yet it also held the potential for human self-interest to disrupt all God’s hopes and dreams. The ‘newness’ of the Exodus held all the hope of a people living free from the bonds of slavery and oppression — yet it also held the potential for human fear to lead people away from the Promised Land and into forty long years of lonely wandering. The ‘newness’ of God taking on flesh in Jesus Christ held all the hope of Emmanuel, God-with-Us in the most intimate of ways — yet it also held the potential for human rejection of this Love-made-Flesh. Whenever God is at work doing something new, “the hopes and fears of all the years” converge once more together.
In our work of planting a “new” faith community anchored in First Decatur, I’ve found God to again be in the delicate work of uniting our hopes and fears. This season of “new” holds with it all the hopes and dreams that new people will come to know the deep love of God in a real and abiding way; that lives will be transformed as they encounter a community seeking to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the everyday stuff of life; that children will be loved; that the lonely will find community; that those who are hungry will find food for their bodies and souls. Yet, this “new” also brings along its share of risks and fears. My prayer lately has been that God might take all my fear of the unknown, all my self-doubt, and all my human self-interest and unite them with God’s own hopes and dreams. In the end, it’s always God who manages to work in, through, and even in spite of human fears to bring about new and abundant life. Please continue to pray with me and for me as we embark on this holy adventure together. Pray that eyes, ears, and hearts might continue to be opened to the new things God is doing in our midst, that we might be open to “holy interruptions,” that we might pay closer attention to the sprouts budding up out of this soil God has been so carefully tending, to the new life breaking forth beneath our feet.
“Thus says the Lord…
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19)