All Things New
While at home, in between doing work for university and church I have been reading a book called ‘All Things New’ by Pete Hughes, the vicar of a church called KXC in London. It is a brilliant book and it has led me to think about a couple of things while we might be in a time of slowing and of waiting.
This period of lockdown or social distancing might seem a little bit like a wilderness, something we are excited to escape from and something that we are longing to be over. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, I find myself thinking exactly that a lot of the time at the moment.
However, during lent, we remember the time when Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness without any food or water and I’m sure he looked forward to it all being over, and he probably was quite hungry.
He was human after all.
But during that time something happened inside of Him. Something shifted. He moved from a place of being a carpenter to rabi.
When he came out of the wilderness it marked the beginning of his ministry to the world.
This led me to think about other people in the bible who had times in the wilderness or the desert place.
Joseph was in prison.
Jonah was in a whale.
Daniel was in the lion’s den.
Noah was on a boat.
David tended sheep for many years.
While David tended his sheep, he was on the hillside. He was on his own.
What did he do while all alone on the hillside? He worshipped (a lot…just see the psalms) and he protected the sheep. He got good at something and he praised his king.
Fast forward a few years and David was able to defeat goliath in a fight because he has had learned how to protect the sheep in the desert place. He knew the God who was with him because he has worshipped and given him praise.
This period isn’t about just waiting for everything to return to normal. Maybe God has something that he wants to do in and through us that will prepare us for the next stage of the journey.
But returning to Pete Hughes’ book, maybe while we wait for everything to go back to how it was before we will miss the new thing that God is doing.
Maybe it will never be the same again?
How does that make you feel?
Maybe God is going to make all things new?
Maybe you are part of his mission to make all things new as he works in your life and shapes and changes you?
This period is a moment in history, a time to stop, maybe we get to rest, maybe we don’t.
But it is a moment where we can ask the question.
God, are you doing a new thing? Are you making all things new? Is this period of rest and quiet and stillness going to propel us into a new place of grace and goodness and glory?
Maybe the right response is to get really, really good at something? To practise, to refine our craft and to develop our gifts in order for us to glorify God with everything we have.
Maybe the right response is to come to God in worship? With singing and dancing, glorifying God, the maker of heaven and earth.
Maybe the right response is to get on our knees in prayer for a new thing to come? Pray for God to change and shape us into people who can be used for his mission to renew all things for the kingdom of God.
Or maybe our response should be all three.
Maybe this time isn’t a blip, or a break or a breath. Maybe it is the beginning of a complete renewal of all things.
What part are you going to play?