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“And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”      Revelation 21:5-7

As we move headlong into another year (can you believe it’s 2024 already), especially during the Christmas season, we are quite conscious that some see the beginning of a new year as a chance to get a fresh start. We are in the middle of celebrating a new start by God as God comes to us in a new way- as Immanuel (God with us). We sing carols in honor of the new baby who was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger. It may be the time of the year for many when fresh starts are possible, when new  resolutions are made, when there is a feeling in the air that maybe things can be different, that possibilities of positive change may not be out of the question. I sense, at least more than at any other time of the year, a spirit of hope and generosity and grace filling the air that seems regenerative. Then, the days move on, and that coworker starts  complaining again, the bills for Christmas come due, the kids get sick, the faucet in the bathroom begins to leak, the price at the pump rises, that piece of cake looks too good to pass up even though we promised to diet strictly, the check engine light on the car dash lights up, we cut our hand taking down the decorations, etc. In other words, life goes back to normal. The happy-go-lucky attitude that was so prevalent just a few weeks ago has been replaced by the general grumpiness of normalcy. Perhaps things get even worse. A new diagnosis brings fear, a loved one passes, your job announces downsizing, the check engine light leads to major repairs, someone very close to you is suffering from depression, you have a major argument with a friend, and things seem to be moving in a direction which causes you worry. What looked promising now has devolved into banal normalcy or anxious tenuousness.

The one who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, doesn’t leave us alone in the midst of struggle. In fact, God’s promise is to make all things new again. The redemptive promise of God speaks over our lives with a message that no matter where our journey takes us, God will be by our side with loving presence and gracious support to lift us when we fall, to guide us when we are lost and to renew us when we are broken. Not only that, but we also will drink from the fountain of the water of life. God will bless us with the fulness and richness God intends our lives to have. We find this fulness in the baby laid in a manger. We find this in the one who shared God’s love person to person throughout Galilee. We find this in the one who took on death so that God’s greater gift of life might become real. It is, after all, the God of Easter who makes all things new. This God blesses us with a congregational family in which we are blessed by Christ’s presence in worship, service and fellowship. This God of possibility places genuine, loving, talented, caring people in our lives in whom we may see the face of Christ. This God of death and resurrection presents to us the possibility which comes with baptism, that we are claimed and loved as we are, and that we may begin each new day, each new month, each new year with the realization that it is an opportunity to begin anew, refreshed and forgiven, right with God, and able to enter into life without fear as the person God created each of us to be. Being human means being less than God. Being human means being broken. But being human also means that we are steeped in the regenerative power of a God who will not give up on us, and who will create us and recreate us again and again, as many times as it takes, to bring wholeness to our lives. God makes all things new again. That’s a promise.