Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Newness Under the Son

I wrote this for the Mom Life Newsletter at church. My hope is that the meaning and hope of Christmas will be fresh and new in our hearts!! God bless you all!! Merry Christmas!!

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"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

Do you ever feel like Solomon, like there is nothing new and that everything is just the same old thing? Does it seem like everything just repeats itself over and over again? Such is the case with me the older that I get (and I am only 26!). I find that there is nothing "new under the sun" and that everything just cycles and repeats in a monotonous routine. It's how I felt when beginning to write because I struggled to come up with something beautiful, inspiring, and focused on the reason for Christmas. Though, the more I tried, the more cliché it seemed. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing cliché about Christ's birth and the miracle of what God has done for us. What I'm talking about is the tireless beat of the drum at this time of year. The whole "in the midst of your shopping, get-togethers, etc. don't forget that He's the reason for the season." I mean, don't we all know that by now? We are reminded of it every single year. Yet, everything repeats. We get through the holidays, celebrate a new year, and the seasons change, holidays come and go, and everything just keep going and repeating.

How do we stay fresh in a world that has gone stale? How do we find the "newness" under the sun? Well, my friends, I think that we need to think about things a little differently than Solomon. He was probably the wisest human to ever live, and yet, he seemed so empty. That is why he came to the conclusion that there was nothing "new" and that all had been done before because he had "been there, done that" so much. Hence, he became bored and discontent when there was seemingly nothing new left to discover or experience. So, of course there was "nothing new under the sun" because nothing under the sun can fulfill! ALL of it will grow cold and lose its luster! This world cannot offer us anything that lasts.

Thankfully, since Solomon's time, we have been blessed with something truly new: the new covenant! Now THAT would have been something for him to discover and experience! Maybe he wouldn't have been so bored if he could have had the renewal that all of us can have in Christ every day of our lives! Though, even with all this "newness" at our fingertips, we STILL get bored because we are still searching for fulfillment under the sun rather than the SON!

This concept provokes deep thoughts in my heart. It stirs me because I know that I get "bored" a lot. Though, I don't suppose there is much excuse for that when there is so much joy, fulfillment, and LIFE in Christ (which is FAR from boring)! Yet, we still get stuck in the temporal things and wonder why we are wasting away inside.

Christ never gets old, and the newness doesn't lose it's luster. It's our desire for him that sometimes wears away. We get busy, distracted, and overloaded with responsibilities (and even the blessings) of our lives. Just like Solomon, we can have so much and still be so bored and discontent. Dear friends, this need not be! Jesus said that he came to give us life to the fullest (John 10:10). Life isn't found in the temporal things, but the things that are unseen and non-material (2 Corinthians 4:18). The unseen things are what last, and what will fill us and bring us joy. These are the things of the Spirit; the untouchables that we cannot get our hands on, but fill us beyond measure! It's the loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled moments that bring us unfathomable renewal, and keep us from getting bored, apathetic, and on a downward spiral in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

I pray that we would do more than just "survive" the season and breeze through all the traditions, rituals, etc. I pray that we will remember the "Jesus is the reason for the season" mantra, but that it will truly sink into our hearts. I pray that the newness the Son brings will fill us up with gladness as we focus on the freshness that Jesus can bring to each moment of our lives; whether we have experienced them over and over again or not!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! Have a truly blessed Christmas as you celebrate the Son!!

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