Have you ever had someone ask you “What’s new?”? Sometimes I really have to stop and search for an honest answer. Sometimes I may resort to “Not much!” This is probably close to the answer Solomon might have given at his most depressed and depressing! I think though it is a question we ought to ask ourselves, and it is a question we ought to diligently answer.
It amazes me that one of the wonderful attributes of our unchanging and unchangeable God, is that he is always doing something new! “His mercies are new every morning”, “He makes all things new” he invites us to “Behold, I am doing a new thing”. Time winds down with us in a “New Heaven and Earth”, bearing “new names”. He invites us to “Sing a new song”. The scriptures are replete with God’s fondness for new things.
The Ancient of Days seems to be constantly changing things. “He is the potter, and we are the clay!” The divine plan for our sanctification hinges on this process of change and renewal.
So, when I am asked what is new? or when I ask this of myself, it really deserves my best thought. This is a diagnostic question for my soul. If I am stumped by the question it points to problem in me which ought to be quickly addressed. Most often though after careful meditation on the question and with the indispensable help of the Paraclete, I notice God’s sanctifying and renewing activity. This causes me to do two things; praise God for his creative work in my life and seek ways to cooperate with God in this activity.
Jesus says, “My sheep know my voice”, and this is an exercise in tuning into that ‘voice’.
Sometimes the “new” is obvious. These can be times of change for us, either for obvious blessing or for challenge. The “new” is not always (or even often) comfortable. Refining is seldom comfortable!
The question invites me to step away from passivity to partnership. It blows my fragile mind that the God of the universe continues to condescend to collaborate with me in achieving his purposes in and through me! Too often though like those in the parable of the banqueting feast, I miss the invitation, and I do so to my own harm!
I want to encourage everyone to take the glib question “What’s new?” and pay serious spiritual attention, and I am preaching firstly to myself.