Pastor Steve Brown
Greetings to the Saints of St. Mark!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore, I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24)
Each day there is a night...and then a new day. Every week ends with a Saturday and begins with a new week on Sunday. Every month's ending gives way to the first of the next month. And, of course, every year starts with a New Year's Day. This is one of God's best gifts to us in time--new beginnings. The calendar is full of them. In fact, for those that seek to follow Jesus every day (and any day) can be a "New Year's Day."
Every day is a chance for new beginnings with our God. The Bible reminds us that the Lord's mercies and grace to us are "new every morning" because His love for us never changes. God gives us new chances and new opportunities to continue to grow and change within His grace--no matter what has happened to us the day before...or the years before. So did you blow it yesterday? Do you feel you are wasting your life? Has the pandemic left you stuck? Has your past so entangled you that you don't know how to live in the present? God's gracious love and life, given to us in Christ, lets us live with a freedom in the present because God can heal and forgive our past--and lets us walk into new beginnings.
You see, God has promised that He will make all things to work together for our good (Romans 8:28) if we'll give Him the chance. God gives second chances--and seventy-second chances--not to go backwards to change the past but to go forward to change our present and our futures. And we participate in this change by giving things over to God, by letting God into our lives and our situations. The theological word for this is repentance. Repentance represents a change of heart and direction, a new beginning in our lives as we give ourselves over to God.
God offers us a fresh start anytime we need it. We don't even have to wait until New Year's Day on the calendar. Our "new year's" day--our new life's day--can come on January 1st...or the 15th...or June 23rd...or even December 30th! Maybe January 1st is coming but doesn't come with all you need for a new year. That's okay. God measures time, not by days, but by choices, surrenders, open hearts, and repentances. Maybe today is the day and not January 1. Just give yourself and your problems over to God and let Him love you, forgive you, help you, and change you today. He won't change your past but makes new possibilities for todays and tomorrows.
COVID-19 is not gone. And life may not be the way you want it for that reason...or other reasons. But the work of Jesus' cross is still finished. He is still alive, the Spirit is still moving, this is our Heavenly Father's world. The grace of God is so rich and deep, so strong and powerful, that it doesn't matter where we are (or where we've been). He can do what we cannot do--give us a new day, a new future, a new life. And it can start today!