Sunday, December 31, 2006

No suprises

New years eve eh? That was quick. 2006 has been an odd one, but thats not what this is about. I'm not out tonight, partly because i'm still a bit ill, partly because i can't be bothered (hey, when you've seen in the new year on Sydney harbour, the 'lope loses it's attraction) but also, because i mostly don't see the whole excitement about new years. I mean, thats not quite true, at about 10 seconds to midnight i get a bit excited, it's going to be next year soon and all that. But's January and we all start again. Not that exciting.

But people love it. It's a fresh start, a time to begin new things and forget the old ways. New years resolutions and new begginings left right and centre. I'll stop smoking/drinking/swearing or whatever else it is. People want a new start, they want to forget whats gone before. Thats why people get so excited about new years i guess, because they can wipe away all the old stuff that they don't like, and try and pretend that this year, this time, will be different. People want to be reborn, every year.

But we can't do that ourselves. We can't give ourselves a fresh start, we can't do anything ourselves to change ourselves. Nicorette isn't going to stop you from smoking...because the problem is in your mind, in your craving for fulfillment and satisfaction, not in the nicotene or the cigarette itself. The problem is in you. And yet Jesus says that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, to enter eternal conscience joy in the presence of God, we must be born again. We must start again totally. Not in a 'now its 2007' sense, because we're still who we are. But in the sense that our whole lives must start again. And looking at the early part of John 3, you can understand Nicodemus' confusion. How can a man re-enter his mother's womb, as Jesus teaches is neccesary?

Nicodemus didn't understand these things, and he was a wiser man than most. One must be born of water and the spirit to inherit eternal life. How? Jesus tells him that just as Moses lifted up a snake in the desert, and whoever looked at the snake would be saved from God's punishment, so He must be lifted up, that whoever believes might have eternal life. New life. A real fresh start. From Jesus, who was slain that we might bring glory to the Father by enjoying Him forever in Heaven. God is the gospel.

Thats the way to a fresh start that won't fade on January 2nd. This is what it means to be re-born, to have faith in Jesus death and ressurection on the cross. To trust in the God is supreme over all things, and to have and spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. Thats what i hope 2007 will bring me. So happy new year. You need Jesus.

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