What's New?

by Pastor Wayne Puls on December 28, 2023

What’s new in your life, as we turn the calendar to 2024? I’m starting off the New Year with a new right knee joint, after a recent replacement surgery. That’s not something particularly unique or unusual, as many members of our church have had similar surgeries (knees, hips, ankles, elbows – even transplanted hearts, lungs, and kidneys). As we age, some parts of our bodies wear out. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it, that modern medicine enables us to have new joints and organs.


When we look at the state of the world around us, how we wish that the New Year could bring certain other new things. We long for a new era of peace and unity among the nations, with an end to warfare and fighting.  We look for signs of new harmony and collegiality in the political realm of our country. We hope for new solutions to old problems. We’re now living in a brand-new year; but so many of our struggles and challenges remain exactly the same.


In the Bible, the writer of the book of Lamentations reflects on the state of the world around him. He’s part of the captive nation of Judah, living in exile, far from their conquered homeland. This man has a lot to lament, and no doubt wishes that many things in his life could be new.


Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.  (Lamentations 3:19-20)


But then he turns his heart back to the Lord God. No matter how desperate his worldly circumstance might be, the writer realizes that it’s really God who makes things new. Our lives in this world of sin and sorrows will never be perfect, and we’ll never achieve a spotless, pure way of living. Yet, when we turn back to the Lord in faith, his love makes us new from the inside out. Not just new joints or organs; but new mercies are ours every day, new encounters with God’s love, and new hope for daily living.


But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  (Lamentations 3:21-24)


So what’s new, as we begin the year 2024? Find your answer with the Lord God!


In Christ,

Pastor Wayne Puls

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