Month: December 2015

All Things New

Blog_ChristmasUnwrappedIt’s over. The gifts are unwrapped. Toys are scattered across the floor. The cookie plates are empty of everything but crumbs. And we’re passed out in bed, exhausted from the whole ordeal.

In a few minutes the kids will wake up to play with their new toys. In a few hours, they’ll be bored. In a few days, at least one of those toys will be broken. The rest will be lost, worn down, or missing parts. In a few week, they’ll be forgotten; in a few months they’ll be in the garbage. In a year, the kids will be asking for new toys all over again.

It’s the circle of life, Christmas style. Have you noticed the theme? Nothing new stays new. No matter how we take care of our things, they’ll all waste away.

Yet written on our hearts is a longing for permanence. Wouldn’t it be nice if everything stayed new all the time? Instead, we watch our treasured possessions slowly disintegrate before our eyes.

The message of Christmas breathes life into the surrounding decay. It’s a reversal of things—the old made new, the dying made alive. The hopeless infused with hope. Everything of worth will last.

God has promised to make all things new. Because of Christmas, broken hearts can be restored, lives can be renewed. When all is lost, everything is gained. It’s then that we find life that is truly life—a hope that can never fade away.

So it’s not really over. Christmas is the beginning of all things new.

Breaking the Silence

Design_BreakingtheSilenceI’ve never considered myself a violent person. Keeping the peace is among my greatest ambitions, and conflict something I endeavor to avoid as much as possible. Even if it means to remain silent.

But what if there’s violence in silence? Not the violence of weapons, but of withholding the good that would otherwise have made a difference. Of failing to use my voice to pray fervently and speak passionately, calling forth life and overcoming evil with good.

Sitting in the quiet comfort of home I think of current events and the exponential number of “pray for…” posts cropping up in the aftermath. And I have to ask myself…have I really prayed, or is it mere sentiment?

What if I truly made a habit of crying out for the peace of other countries? Of my own? Would I see so many “pray for…” posts after the fact if I prayed before the fact?

And what about words and actions? Scripture makes it clear that authentic faith is expressed not only in word, but also in deed. We’re to speak and act on behalf of justice, truth, mercy, and love. What if my prayerlessness, my silence, my inactivity has contributed to the violence of this age by failing to prevent it?

I came across this Proverb today: “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” Ouch. That is one kind of “brother” I don’t want to be! Yet here I remain, married to my comfort zone in its false pretense of peace.

God help me to no longer be slack in my work. Free me from the violence of silence. Use me to pray forth peace, to speak life and truth, and to act with love and purpose in every opportunity you bring, for time is short.