A New Start

Jessica Bratt Carle

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Behold, the new has come. (v. 17)

What do you picture when you hear the claim that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation? Perhaps a baptism of a new believer, or an occasion where reclaimed faith seems to bring a bright new beginning? “New creation” doesn’t usually conjure up images of those who are nearing the end of their lives, and yet there is often abundant newness in life’s final chapters. In the face of physical decline and a sense that time is running out, there can yet be remarkable growth in our spiritual lives and in our relationships.

Sometimes a long-awaited reconciliation may finally occur when death is at hand. For others, a new level of awareness of God’s provision and promises might suddenly feel more real than ever. And for both the dying and their survivors, the opportunity to forgive past wrongs can lift the burdensome weight of the past, restoring even a fragile reconnection before it’s too late. As American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe remarked, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” Sometimes the words or deeds of those who passed away without reconciling difficult relationships are left to us as we seek to make sense and somehow move on. In those situations too, new creation is possible. The Lord of life is at work, sometimes mysteriously, turning our mourning toward a stunning newness of life.

—Jessica Bratt Carle

Prayer: Re-create us according to your life abundant, gracious God.