Nothing stays new! Not a new car, not a new house, not even a new baby. Everything grows older. Eventually, everything goes downhill. The hymnist wrote: “Change and decay in all around I see.” He isn’t the only one who has seen this.
But, that’s not what we want to see. When we drive that new car into our driveway, we want it to stay new. We think to ourselves: “This time I’m going to keep it clean. This time I’m going to rotate the tires on schedule. This time I’m not going to let it get scratched. This time I’m going to keep it like new!”
But, that never happens. In spite of our best intentions and our best efforts, in a number of years we will be calling it our old car. That’s because it will be old.
The same thing happens to us. One day we looked around and saw that we had grown up. Maybe we were anxious for that to happen, but we weren’t conscious of it. One day just flowed into another until we were no longer called a youngster.
In the same way, one day we will look around and see that we have grown old. The music we favor will be on the “Oldies” station. When we look into a mirror we will see a reflection of our mother or father when we thought they were old.
We don’t like the deterioration of age. We want everything new. But that’s impossible! Or, is it?
Some people have traveled the oceans in search of a so-called Fountain of Youth. Others have spent money trying to look younger or feel younger. But all efforts fail, don’t they?
Not when God does it. Not when God promises it. As the Bible comes to a close we get a peek of the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven. He addresses those who are gathered around him. He tells them, “I am making everything new!”
He lets us know what this means for his people. He tells us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
We have our hopes and plans for the New Year. In 2014 we want to be spared harm and heartache, setback and sorrow. We pray that God would grant that to us. But, even if he does, that which is new will grow older. Twelve months from now we will be talking about ending the Old Year of 2014 and moving into the New.
But, the passing of time, and the change and decay does not lead us to the black wall of regret and despair. When we look into 2014, we see a light. Even when we peer into the far distant years, we see a light. For the passing of time brings change and decay only on earth. There is another realm, another time, a time of wonderful change.
The time will come when our life, and everything in it will be brand new. Everything will be perfect. Everything will stay that way.
It will be an endless New Year.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain