The Hope of New Life

The Hope of New Life

Thursday, 17 December 2015  | Narelle - MECS Principal
New babies are so exciting. Just in this last week, our school community welcomed a new little baby boy - Samuel Mark Turner. His dad, Brad, is our Middle School Coordinator and two of his other three children are already in the school. How thrilled we were to hear the news that another little child had been born. Whenever a baby is born it reminds us of all the potential and hope that comes with each new life. What ‘new’ thing will be accomplished? What skills, talents and character will this child have? Will this child make the world a better place?

As a proud mother, I witnessed my daughter’s baptism last Saturday. In front of seventy friends and family she stood on the banks of the Yarra River and declared her faith in Jesus, giving testimony to the new things that God was doing in her life. Her faith gives her a sense of hope and direction for the future and I am confident that she is well on the way to making the world a better place. The symbolism of her old life being washed away, and her new life in Christ being born was a powerful reminder of why we should cherish the Christmas season.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

As we enjoy the final week of Advent, may it be a time of expectant waiting and joy. It is easy to be distracted by the last minute Christmas shopping and plans for family festivities, but let us be reminded that angels joyfully heralded the birth of this child and kings came to worship him and marvel at what God had done. God himself had entered into our world - a world broken and distorted by sin. Our joy comes from knowing that God is accomplishing something new, that he cannot be stopped or deterred, even in the face of what we see on the news each day. This new thing, the Christ child, will not only bring about the complete restoration of God’s Kingdom, but will bring new life to each of us who seek it.

Eugene Peterson calls the Christian life “a long obedience in the same direction.” In a world which always looks to the next big news story, celebratory season (hot cross buns will hit the supermarket shelves soon!), popular trends or shortcuts, being people of faith who wait expectantly and obediently for this new thing is seen to be more and more ‘out of step’ with the world.

And yet some things are worth waiting for! The necessary things. The lasting things. The transformative things. The things that bring us hope and new life.

The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. (2 Corinthians 5)

My prayer for all of us is that as we prepare to celebrate this Christmas season, we would not only welcome this Messiah with great joy, but also commit ourselves afresh to the new thing that God is doing – in our own life, in the life of the MECS community and in the whole of his world.

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