Overheard at the local coffee shop last week:
"You know my history... how can you even ask me to consider trying again". Her friend waited a good few seconds before replying: "Everyone in Christ is a new creation... the past is finished, and gone!"
I sat there, stunned. One doesn't expect to find Christ in the Coffee shop - much less such wonderful theology as this.
This particular passage from Paul's second letter to the Church at Corinth needs to be put to memory. Those times when we cling to our history, including our history of poor choices and failures, it is as if we are saying that God's Grace isn't large enough to move us from where we've been. We make idols of our history and worship them instead of allowing God's love to transform and change us and to create us anew.
Yes, I know that terrible things have occurred in our pasts. Yes, I know that some of those things were beyond our control (and I embrace the idea that if we can truly forgive we might discover real peace, and for many individuals that can only happen with good therapy and time). I also know that some of those things were due to personal choice.... and it may be time to make another choice. The choice to live as new creatures instead of wallowing in what was.
This year our Lenten study at First Presby Roselle is "Behold: There is a New Creation" in conjunction with our being on the "Jeremiah Journey" (a collaborative effort with the Center for Parish Development and the Presbytery of Elizabeth). You're invited to join us at 3 p.m on Sundays as we parse out what God's DREAM might be for us as new creations. Please join us!