By Tom Washburn

All Things New


We live in a world that brings in the New Year in all sorts of different ways. Most likely you are like me and enjoyed some black-eyed peas and maybe some greens to celebrate 2017.


In Spain, they try and get twelve grapes in their mouth at once for good luck in the coming year. In some South American countries, they believe the color of the underwear you wear the first day of the year will determine your fate for the remainder of that year. Red underwear means you’ll find love. Gold means wealth and white signifies peace. (Let me know where you find those gold boxers!) In Switzerland, they celebrate the New Year by dropping ice cream on the floor.


This time of year we are reminded in many ways of new beginnings. A fresh start. Beginning again. A second chance.


Our Lord God has always been in the business of NEW BEGINNINGS. The first chapter of His Bible, where the creation is recorded, reminds us how God is always taking us toward new beginnings.


Read that creation story again. At the end of each day of creation are these words, And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” You and I think of a day being morning and then evening, but God is so much about new beginnings and fresh starts, He describes a day a little differently than we do.


And the very first words of the Bible remind you and me that everything starts with God. It simply says, “In the beginning, God…” Everything starts with God!


He is also where you and I get our start. Really, God made us as the crowning work of His creation. The same God who spoke the rest of creation into being, in verse 26 of Genesis 1, reaches down and gets a handful of earth and makes man! That ought to go a long way toward making us feel pretty special.


You are way more than a random chaotic chance. God Himself says that you have intrinsic value. And the fact that the Bible says that not only was man “handmade,” but created in the very image of God. An image is a representation of something, or in this case, Someone. There is something about each one of us that reminds God of Himself.


Gracious, all of us have done a good job of marring that image of Almighty God in us. But it is there. Wonder how much better a world we would live in if those of us who bear the name of Jesus would learn to look at people and look for that image of God?


As we are reminded by the calendar of new beginnings, maybe the Lord God wants to remind us that from the very beginning He has been about moving us toward new beginnings.


It’s often said that today is the first day of the rest of your life. That’s obviously true. But today has the potential to be formative for the rest of our lives if we choose today to put God first in all we do. You and I could be catalysts for a spiritual awakening in our communities, our beloved Mississippi, and even around the world.


Just like His Father, Jesus is all about fresh starts. And He has promised to never leave us or forsake us, so you are not in this NEW BEGINNING alone.


Tom Washburn is the Senior Adult Pastor at First Baptist Church, Jackson, MS.