When I opened up Amazon.com this morning, the words across the top of the page read “New Year, New You”. In the mail last week, I received an offer from a credit card company for a free calendar. On the top of the page for the month of January were the words: “All things new. New Beginnings, New Year”.
Every winter as we move into the New Year, people see it as an opportunity to start again – a chance to make some changes in their lives. They hope that by making these changes in workout habits, or diet, or how they organize their lives, or whatever that they will feel “new” again. That this will restore them.
The truth is that they do need this restoration. They need to be made new, and so do I. But the changes that they are trying to make won’t give them the lasting sense of “new”. Eventually, the changes they have made, or the new things they have bought will begin to feel sour and lifeless, and they will begin to try to recapture that fresh feeling again.
In the Bible, we are given a vision of universal restoration. We are told that there is one that will make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5), and that the death we see around us in our things, our situations, our bodies…it will be replaced by life. New, fresh life that flows from an everlasting source. Life this abundant can only be found in the One that created it. The One for whom all life exists. Jesus Christ alone made the claim that he is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and he proved that claim with his teaching, his miracles, and in his death and resurrection.
And these were just a foretaste of the restoration that will come.
This feeling we feel around this time of year – this yearning to be “made new”- it comes from the deep sense within ourselves that we will one day be set free from these mortal coils, and walk in a life unfettered by a glory that quickly fades and be caught up in an eternal glory that is new forever. The astounding truth is: we will be.
(For further reading on this concept, I highly recommend C.S. Lewis’ essay “The Weight of Glory”.)