We love the word “new”! Hopefully we got a few “new” items for Christmas, people enjoy a “new” car and products that are “new” are almost always “improved” as well. What is it about “new”? The word new has potential and hope particularly that it won’t be what we had before. In a sense, “new” undoes or changes the old. As followers of Jesus, “new” is built into the fabric of our lives. We became new creations when we received Jesus, the old (life before) was gone and the new life had come. Having been a Christian since I was very young, I’ve come to embrace the “new” even more than most. As I sit here at the end of one year and the beginning of another, I have a sense of “new”. I have begun asking myself what will be new for me this year? What do I want to work on? What do I want to let go of? Who do I want to become? What do I wish I was more like? What could my marriage be like? How could I grow as dad? What would I be like if I were a better leader? Questions like these are the place to start as you enter into a new year. The reason is you want to define in a descriptive way the end goal, the desired picture. This will not only help you to know when you arrive there but will also provide the motivation to push forward. I once heard that a vision is a picture of the future that produces passion. If you and I don’t spend the time necessary to develop a vision for our lives we will find any changes will be temporary or we’ll lack the necessary fuel to see our work through to completion. Don’t skip this critical first step in defining your “new”.
There is a story underneath the Christmas story as most of us know it. We know Christmas as Mary, Joseph and the manager. We tend to think about shepherds, wisemen and angels proclaiming big news. But what if we were to hear the Christmas as told from the perspective of heaven? Why were the angels so fired up? What was God dealing with?
In order to get the story underneath the story we actually need to go back to the book of Genesis. The first human beings were tempted by the evil one, succumbed and then sin entered into the world. And from that point forward every human being would be born with a sin nature. The evil one roamed the earth causing destruction and death through sinful human beings. This was not God’s plan and it warped God’s perfect creation.