There is something very beautiful about newness.
A newly fallen snowfall.
A newborn baby.
A new beginning.
A new creation.
The start of the new year is something that people around the world have celebrated for thousands of years ---- why? Because the idea of being new is so incredibly appealing.
People long to get a new start. To begin a new regimen. To create a new habit. And for all of these, it is understood that newer is better.
2011 has set the bar pretty high as far as years go. In the realm of milestones, it may have been a record-breaker. I had all sorts of new experiences, including graduating from college, getting my dream job, moving across the country, meeting an intern class full of best friends, and working my first year out of college. Friends got married, had babies, moved away. Others took new jobs, or began graduate school. I made plenty of terrible mistakes but learned plenty of lessons and was reminded so regularly of God's grace that it became an impossible reality to escape.
So now it's time for a new year to begin - a year that looks to hold a few less changes and transitions but that promises bright hope and continued adventure. In most respects I don't know what to expect, but I know that the Lord is at work in my heart and in my life and that newness is the way the Lord shows his continued love for us.
There is a part of growing up that is really difficult. Things change rapidly and in some ways you don't like. But there is also something profoundly beautiful about growing older. The constant newness is a picture of the way the Lord is at work - and the way that he is drawing his creation back to himself and towards a time when it will all be made entirely new. Right now we can only see bits and pieces and heaven is only alluded to - but things like the start to the new year remind us that we were made for newness. The old things will pass away, but we know even in our heart of hearts that the oldness is broken and unfinished. The New Year is beautiful because we have a deep longing in our hearts and souls for a New Heaven and a New Earth. And guess what?
Happy New year.