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New Year — Same Promise: New Life

The Relentless Search

Billions of dollars are being generated every year by people who are trying to find the Fountain of Youth. Supplements, pharmaceuticals, diets, exercises and wellness practices are constantly being pitched to a public with an insatiable appetite to feel younger.  With all of our ingenuity, creativity and cunning, though, we are no closer now to finding the Fountain of Youth than Ponce de Leon was.  Fear not, while there is not a secret to eternal youth, neither are we simply a collection of rotting husks.  Much of our body is in a constant state of regeneration.  Hair, skin, nails and various organs, each on their own schedule, are in an ongoing process of replenishment and renewal.

A Gift That Changes Everything

The process of regeneration, growth and renewal is not just a phenomenon of our physical bodies.  Spiritually speaking, the grace of God that is being poured out into our life, like a waterfall collecting mountain rain and running it to the sea.  God knows all too well the pain that is part of the human condition.  Thankfully God does not leave us to fend for ourselves while in the midst of conflict.  God, like a beacon, shines in our life and on our path.  The light that God reveals is not some faint hazy glow.  God’s light shines as a reminder that the way of the light, the way of life, is to live with one another in a spirit of mutuality.  The new life that is promised is a gift, as with any gift, its truest value is unleashed when we open and bring it fully into our life.

Sharing the Gift

The chaos that swirls around us today is disheartening.  The ugly, divisive rhetoric causes real harm to the communities in which we live.  It may not seem like we can do much to change the world.  However, the Gospel witness makes clear that the exact opposite is true.  The gift of new life that shines as a promise for us is a gift that works not only in us but through us.  Living out the love, mercy and compassion we have experienced through Jesus to other people, the world around us changes.  This week in worship we will celebrate this truth and explore ways that we can live it out.