Winterville United Methodist Church

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

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December 26, 2016 “All Things New”

My dad worked in a factory all of his life.  When it was time to buy clothes or shoes for my brother and me, my parents had to plan those purchases very carefully because money was never in abundance.  The clothes I wore were made by my mother—an effort that saved my parents tremendous amounts of money.  Often the fabric used for my outfits was left over from garments made for other people as my mother worked at home sewing for a little extra money.  Other times the fabric was recycled from sacks of flour purchased at the grocery store. 

But one dress from my childhood stands out among all the others I ever wore!  I remember it in vivid detail.  The fabric was baby blue.  It had a Peter-Pan collar with handmade lace on the edge.  All across the front was pink smocking that I thought to be the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  My grandmother had smocked the dress, and my mother did the sewing. 

That new dress made me feel like a million dollars.  Every time I wore it I marveled at the beauty of the blue fabric and the wonderful design stitched in pink across the front.  Every time I wore it I felt there was something new and something special about me as well!

In just days’ times we will be standing at the door of a new year!  It is a time that prods us to look backward in our lives, to review the year 2016.  What was there that was good, that bears repeating?  Where did we invest ourselves in good and productive ways?  What are the things we did that were pleasing to God?

Where, on the other hand, are the areas where we would desire change—something new?  Maybe we feel stuck in some ways—stuck in a job that’s unrewarding, stuck in doing the same things over and over again.  Maybe we desire some new and fulfilling relationships in our lives.  Maybe as we look backward in time we realize the miss-spent energy we invested—the same arguments, the same destructive patterns of relationships in our lives.

As we face the new year may we remember that God is there for us to strengthen us and to give us guidance and wisdom for living.  In John’s revelation—Revelation 21:5—we hear the words, “Behold, I make all things new.”

So often as we try to do things all on our own we will struggle.  We will stay stuck in negative patterns of relationship.  We will look in all the wrong directions for fulfilling jobs or for  new and positive relationships in life.  But with God’s help we can discover the “new” that He has in store for us.  Thanks be to God for a new year placed in front of us.  May we discover all the joy and promise that it can provide!

 

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