Some of my favorite decorations at Christmas are the ones that reflect a time long past: vintage ornaments, popcorn chains, and brown paper packages tied up with string (sorry, couldn’t help myself). There’s something nostalgic about Christmastime when you’re picturing the beauty of years gone by. However, irony lies in the fact that nowadays it seems to take more effort and investment to embrace something old than to just buy something new- just look in those home magazines! How much money do we spend on items that look like they’re a hundred years old when the factory made them just last week?! We expend so much in an attempt to reclaim beauty that once was, that we fail to look forward and grab onto the life-giving newness that could be ours for the taking.
Isn’t that always the case though? How many times have we circled mountains in our lives trying to find the beauty in them in a desperate attempt to salvage the past? We face the same problems, struggle with the same issues, pray the same prayers, and wish for the same changes, year after year. It’s old hat by now, and that hat needs to be thrown out.
All throughout Scripture God talks about renewal, creation, transformation, and new beginnings. There are not many places found where He asks for the old in our lives in order to just tweak it a little and give it back to us.
He makes all things new Revelation 21: 5, creates in us a pure heart Psalm 51: 10, and does a “new thing” in our lives Isaiah 43: 19-21. God is in the business of creation and renewal. We often overlook this characteristic of our Father and try our best to make the bygone things in our lives work. Occasionally God only needs to slightly adjust things in our lives, but I’d say more often than not He wants us to stop parading around the mountains that we’re now all too familiar with, and start stepping out onto the new paths He has planned for our lives.
Christmas is a time to remember the past gift that was given in our Savior, Jesus Christ, but I also have a challenge for you. Embrace the new life Christ brought through Christmas, and then step into the New Year by surrendering that worn out issue you’ve been desperately holding on to in futile hopes of revitalizing it. Allow Him to create something new in you and be willing to let go of the things that do not serve you in your journey anymore. Nostalgia is great when the memories are simply that… but failure to embrace the future because you’d rather stay in the past is dangerous and prevents God from lavishing you with all He has in store for your life. He came as a baby to die as a Victor and He makes ALL things new.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 19