Summary: God offers us new life, a new relationship with him, and a new experience of forgiveness. Discoving the miracle of the new is one way we prepare for the coming of the Lord
New items are attractive to us. We like the smell of a new car, and the fit of a new outfit. Even though some assembly may be required, we want new toys, and we are willing to buy the dozens of batteries that are needed for our new electrical gadgets. Hand-me-downs and used simply aren’t as exciting as new items.
The seasons of Advent and Christmas are times when we discover God’s miracles. One of those miracles is the miracle of the new. The miracle of the new goes beyond the new clothes and toys that we will receive as Christmas gifts. The miracle of the new highlights the new life and new relationship that God offers us.
A NEW BEGINNING
Mark begins his gospel with the words, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Really, this is the official title of Mark’s literary work. God is doing something different. The story—or good news—of Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection, is the first chapter of this new work.
There are several clues to signal the changes that the new has brought about. One is quite obvious. As students of the Bible, we move into the New Testament from the Old Testament. The ministry of John the Baptist signals that new. God breaks the silence of several hundred years without a prophet, and John is the first prophet to use baptism as a sign of repentance and forgiveness.
The miracle of the new is upon us, but we need to discover how this new affects our daily lives today.
A NEW RELATIONSHIP
The person of Jesus Christ ushers forth a new age in humankind’s relationship with God.
¨ The temple system with its multitude of sacrifices and the intermediary ministry of the priests is gone. It is replaced with the new.
¨ The prophets who spoke for God to God’s people are no longer. John the Baptist is the last of the prophets. Now God speaks directly to the hearts of God’s people through the person of the Holy Spirit.
¨ Jesus opens up a personal relationship with God. God is no longer a distant God, but is a now a God intimately involved in our lives and in the world. The God invites us to call him Father, and rejoices in the fact that he calls us his children.
From the first Christmas, we celebrate that God became one of us and dwelt among us. We look forward to the return of Jesus when we will see Jesus face to face and experience an even more intimate relationship with him. In the meantime, we celebrate the gift of a new, personal relationship with the God of all creation.
A NEW LIFE—FORGIVEN
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus give us another dimension of the miracle of the new. We have a new life because we are forgiven.
The miracle of the new is available to us each and every day of our lives. We no longer need to live in the old; the past. Confessing our sin, turning away from our sinful words and behaviors, we step forward into the new—a life free from shame and guilt. Each day dawns bright with the new; not clouded with the past.
The new life offered to us by Jesus Christ allows us to experience the steadfast and overwhelming love of God in new ways. Every day brings with it the invitation to experience God’s love more deeply—more intimately.