“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5 KJV)
The New Year brings a fresh start, another “start over.” Those of us who work in academic settings feel like we get more chances to begin again—each new semester as well as each new calendar year. But the Lord faithfully gives us a new season, a new moon, a new week, and—every twenty-four hours—a new day. We can start over anew! That new start inevitably comes with optimism and hope, even in the middle of winter, even with a healthy dose of reality mixed in.
The Bible points to new beginnings again and again. Here is just a sampling.
- We have a new heart and new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26).
- We are his new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15)—not merely a revised edition.
- We put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10) created in righteousness and holiness.
- He provides a new and living way (Hebrews 10:20) through salvation.
- He has established a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31, Hebrews 12:24) through His sacrificial death.
- He gives us a new song (Psalm 40:3, Revelation 5:9).
- He has given us a new commandment (John 13:34, 1 John 2:8) to love one another.
- His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
- There will be a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:17, Revelation 21:1).
In libraries we also know about “renewing” things—making them new again. See how the Scriptures reveal that too:
- He renews a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).
- He renews our strength like the eagles’ (Isaiah 40:31).
- He will renew our days (Lamentations 5:21).
- Even when our outward bodies are perishing, He renews the inward man day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
- He renews the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).
- We are renewed in knowledge after the image of the Creator (Colossians 3:10).
I don’t know about you, but I need some renewing for the New Year—some new strength and new knowledge. I need to focus on His new mercies and new commandment. I need a new heart, one more like the heart of Jesus.
As we begin 2017, with a fresh calendar and good intentions, may it be with a new focus on what matters most—for time and for eternity.
Carol serves as a librarian at Welch College in Nashville, TN. She been a member of ACL since 1989.