Well here we are. The election is over, Christmas is here, and the end of 2016 is fast approaching. It seems like just yesterday we were ushering in the new year and trying to adjust to writing 2016 on everything instead of 2015. Every new year we adjust to the new perspectives we have on everything around us – new governmental leaders, new laws, new gadgets that seem to take over our lives, new relationships, new plans to accomplish new things, etc. etc. etc.
My Mom used to have a saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The older I get, the more I can appreciate the wisdom of that statement. Ecclesiastes says it in a little different way, but still says the same thing, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
Even though 2017 will most assuredly bring us another year of “Nothing new under the sun,” we have a hope. Our hope isn’t in new political leadership, or a more prosperous economy, or a more peaceful world, or breakthroughs in medical science, or better technology, or many other things that typically give people some amount of hope as they anticipate a new year.
No, our hope is in a person …Jesus. Our hope is in who He is…Emmanu-El, God with us. Our hope is in what He has done for us … “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
Because of the hope we have, we can look forward to not just a New Year, but to seven new things listed in Revelation 21 and 22 when there are no more years. First, in chapter 21 verse one it says “And I saw a NEW HEAVEN.” Second, in the same verse “and a NEW EARTH, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there was no more sea.” Third, in verse 2, “And I saw the holy city, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down out of heaven from God…”Fourth, in verse 5, “And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am Making ALL THINGS NEW.”” Fifth, in chapter 22 verses 1 and 2 the Bible describes a NEW PARADISE, better than the first one, Eden, which was destroyed. “And He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Sixth, in verse 3 we see a NEW PLACE for God’s throne. “And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him.” And finally, in verse 5 we see the Seventh new thing, a NEW SOURCE OF LIGHT. “And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever.”
So, have a blessed Christmas, celebrating the One who gives us hope and makes all this possible, and have a great New Year filled with all the opportunities to serve Him until He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.