December 26, 2012
Happy New Year! This may seem a little presumptuous of me but let’s just say I’m being optimistic.
It seems we have made it through another Christmas Day as well as another apocalyptic prediction that the world was going to end. As someone who remembers the furor surrounding Y2K, this end of the year, end of the world thinking is nothing new to me. Of course, if you followed the Mayan Apocalypse predictions, you would have found that the interpretations varied almost as much as our own interpretations of the Book of Revelation. Simply put, they were all over the place.
These thoughts are going through my mind as we hurtle toward the New Year because there were quite a few people who were saying the Mayans weren’t predicting the end of the world but, rather, a new beginning for all of humanity. Personally, I don’t know exactly what the Mayans may have predicted (if anything at all) but the idea of new beginnings is still a very important one.
Far too many Christians have found this faith we share to be one of apocalyptic proportions. They’re constantly thinking about how the world will end and the “signs of the times” which will point to its inevitable destruction. From what I have read and studied of Scripture, it seems to me they’ve missed the greatest sign of all: a child born in a manger. I’ve found Christianity to be a faith about birth. In John’s Gospel, many of us are familiar with the phrase “You must be born again” and most of us, by now, have heard the birth story of Jesus many times during this holiday season. How can this be a faith about endings and destruction? I don’t see it. In fact, I often see this faith growing and birthing new life in what appears to be the darkest times of death and despair. This is because Christianity is a faith of new beginnings occurring each and every day.
When we read the Book of Revelation, we find the true meaning of the word apocalypse is “unveiling” and God talks about re-creation within its pages. Re-creation is not about endings, but, rather, I’ve found it to be one filled with re-beginnings: the re-beginning of the church, the re-beginning of worship, and the re-beginning of creation. The reason I like the phrase re-beginning is because it is infused with a hope and purpose that God got everything right the first time…it just needs a bit of re-newal. My hope for you is that throughout the New Year you will wake up each morning with the excitement of these re-beginnings in your hearts. May you find joy surrounding you and may Christ Jesus be unveiled in your hearts each and every moment as He re-begins His work in your lives.
God’s Best Always and in All Ways,
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