Christmas 2023: From a New Birth to All Things Made New

Got a new year’s resolution? As we move through the holidays, you may already be processing what the next year might look like. Whether you’ve gone through a rough season or are just ready for a change, a new year can feel like a fresh start and opportunity for renewal.

Even before we reach the new year, the Christmas story can give pause to consider the fresh start of a brand new life. The entire celebration certainly makes a very big deal about a new birth. And while we might see any newborn as a new life brimming with potential and possibility, everything about the birth of Jesus points us to possibilities of newness and renewal we could have never imagined.

This new birth was both anticipated and surprising. Isaiah, a prophet, declared, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,” some 700 years before angels announced to shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Through many prophecies and angelic announcements, we get the message that God is doing something new here on Earth—that despite, or even because, we have largely ignored Him, God was coming to be with us in a new way.

Incredibly, Jesus’ birth made a way for us to experience new life and our own rebirth.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Yet it wasn’t just the birth of Jesus that brought this hope, but also His return from death to life, since, “According to his great mercy, (God) has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...” His celebrated birth and return to life point to rebirth and resurrection for anyone who believes Jesus is Lord­—that God truly came to be with us.

Such a rebirth in us also means we are fundamentally renewed. We can no longer simply ignore God, but we can actually know Him and experience the extraordinary love of God. Even through our struggles, it remains true that “...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This new relationship changes how we relate to God and others, and gives us new hope for the future. Now anyone who knows Jesus can look ahead in anticipation not just of a return to life, but also to the full renewal of our world, as He has already stated, “Behold, I am making all things new.” A rebirth of the whole creation is yet to come, without death or sorrow or pain. And God, who once came to be with us as a brand new baby, will be with His people forever.

I hope you do sense a fresh start and crush any positive goals you might set for the new year. But I pray you experience the ultimate newness—the brand new life that can only come from knowing Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:11; John 3:16;1 Peter 1:3;
2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5 (ESV)
Art: pixabay.com

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