Lifelines January 02, 2022

A new year means a fresh start, and that is one of God’s specialties.  God the Son took on flesh and blood so that everyone has a chance to start all over.  It does not matter how dramatic our past sins are, where we come from or who we are; we can begin again.  “Born again” are the words of our Lord (John 3:3) which confused Nicodemus.  It seems impossible.

God is able to do the incomprehensible.  We think from a human perspective, and He is much grander than that.  His abilities exceed our thoughts.  We cannot even begin to imagine what He is able to do (Ephesians 3:20), and it becomes clear with even a superficial trip through history that Our Lord is an amazingly powerful God.

 Go all the way to the opening words of His great revelation, “In the beginning God…”  No space, matter, life nor time…just Him.  Then He spoke, and creation exploded into existence.  No one else could do that.  Who can speak light into shining with the only source being his will?  Or form sky and earth; plants and animals?  And take dirt, formulate a human and breathe life into him.  Fresh starts?  Where else could we possibly go?

“In the beginning was the Word…” Sin crept into His pristine world and the war between good and evil began.  Paradise was lost as temptation won its initial battle, and the whole world was affected.  The first family was expelled from the garden of perfection, but hope did not die that day.  God is not just all-powerful; He has a plan.  Remember: Fresh starts are His specialty. 

It was a rocky road from promise to fulfillment.  It would wind through evil’s spread to epic proportions.  It included a flood, slavery, liberation, successes, failures, joys, sorrows, obedience and rebellion.  The Lord used the good, the bad, the ugly, the famous and the anonymous.  He is king of them all.  His unimaginable strategy included all kinds of people and all conceivable circumstances.  A new start was no small task.  Only a God of infinite power could work it out…and He did.

As amazing as the new beginning is, it is exactly that: a beginning.  It is not the end but the start of something totally different.  No longer slaves of sin, we have been liberated for something far better.   We are united with Christ in baptism in order to have a new way of walking and talking (Romans 6:1-7); a fresh start.

It takes us in the direction of the promised land, a paradise that is much grander and more perfect than the Garden of Eden.  Our ultimate destination is in the presence of God.  Jesus made that possible.  No New Year is needed.  The offer is extended to everyone every second of every day.  Need a fresh start?  It is possible right now with the Lord.