THERE HAS TO BE AN END BEFORE A BEGINNING
Whether it is a new beginning, new day, or new season many are sensing, or wanting something new to happen. If we are in a pause there must be a reason, because it won’t last forever. Could it be that God is saying things to us about need to change, or at least be open to change? Perhaps it’s more an interruption than a hesitation, and it has pushed us out of whatever we think normal is. Many of us have been stressed, disturbed, shaken and stirred; we don’t know whether we are we coming or going.
New words have appeared such as Zoom, which many of us have used in our communicating to others, even to other parts of the world. A dear friend of mine living in New Zealand spoke by Zoom to a church group in Cyprus and had some join from Scotland, England and France. That wouldn’t have happened before Covid-19, because most of us had never heard of Zoom!
We do have a propensity to stay where we are with what we have in the old and the traditional, or it could be that in moving forward we attempt to bring a few things with us that should stay in the old, but letting go of ‘things’ for many of us is difficult. Yet God is saying, “I’m going to bring good out of this, and do a new thing.” The response by the religious leaders in Jesus’ day was, “We’ve always done it this way!”, but that statement contributed to His death. They didn’t like change; they didn’t want change, so they resisted the purposes of God.
When the Church began in an upper room with a tornado suddenly appearing inside the room, and if that wasn’t enough flames of fire landed on the peoples heads, with every one speaking in languages they had not known before sounds quite bizarre, but it was the magnificent manifest presence of God doing a new thing. These wonders of God were a sign, that pointed to Jesus and thousands came into the Kingdom through the ‘New’ Birth. If that kind of manifestation happened at the beginning of the church, what is going to happen to us in these days? I say, “Lord do what you think is necessary to fulfil your purposes.”
When Jesus said, “It is finished”, He meant it. We want to go into the new, subtly or stubbornly hanging onto the old. New means new, which says to me, ‘you’d better let go of that which will only hinder and undermine the new.’ What John was writing about in chapter One of his Gospel was a New Creation. The old had gone, the new had come. God came down incarnate in Jesus to be with us. The New Age, the Kingdom of God was announced; it was a new beginning!
There has to be an end before a beginning. That could mean us finally dealing with ongoing issues in our lives, the stuff that has hung around afflicting and condemning us.
When Jesus cried out on the cross “It is finished!”, He meant it, for everything concerning Him was accomplished, including the fulfilment of the hundreds of prophecies that spoke about Him. What was finished in the past, is still finished in the present, and it will remain finished in the future! Not only can we live in His finished work, but we can also live in the new beginning of the His resurrection, because it is this, that makes Christianity so different from religion, for we worship a real, living person not just a few dead principles to live by. God is preparing us, and changing us, so that we will respond and cope with whatever He brings to fulfil His purpose. I’ve come to far to look back. x
Steve Hepden, Sunday 19th July, 2020