Yes, I am new here. The new guy in town.
It’s usually pretty awkward being the new person. Actually, it’s one of those weird social anxieties that I have. I hate being the new person. I either feel like I have to be incredibly impressive to those I’m meeting, or the people I’m meeting are so intimidating to me that I’ll just fold under the pressure and most likely come across as unfriendly. The truth is, I’m just nervous and uncomfortable.
I can easily say that the first couple of weeks with all of you at 6:8 Church have been absolutely wonderful and a smooth transition with barely any social anxiety popping up. You all have been exceedingly warm and welcoming for the new guy. That is much appreciated.
However, I’m talking about something completely different, yet along the same lines.
Our culture is obsessed with “new”. The latest and the greatest cell-phone, software, video game console, car, Apple devices, and all those other doo-hickeys sold in the electronics department at Target, take center-stage in the media, culture and our attention. We are captivated by new. Engrossed with it even.
We even do this to ourselves. New clothes. New hairstyle. New… whatever it is. We are a culture that is forever obsessed with finding the best new thing. Unfortunately, this is an exercise in futility, and sooner rather than later, what is new will quickly become what is old and what is old is tossed into irrelevance. We may have spent much of our hard-earned cash to buy what is new, but often what we have bought becomes obsolete almost as soon as we got it if we don’t get it as soon as it is released.
I have led worship in churches and youth groups for about 12 years now. Through all the years of leading there is one quality to worship through music that I have always loved: its ability to refresh and encourage the hearts of the people who are participating. Seeing the Spirit of the Lord move in the hearts of the people is a sweet joy to those of us who lead. It is obvious that people can be made new within a time of worship together.
When we look to what the Bible says, the concept of being made new is a common theme throughout. The prophet Ezekiel says in Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” The beauty of this concept is that it’s not like the new fangled technology that dominates our news feeds where it promises to fade, but that being made new by the Lord is permanent and forever. It will never fade. It is a promise that is as certain as the rising and setting of the sun.
Our problem is not whether we understand this concept or not, but whether we live it. Because of the fact that I have given my life to Christ, I am no longer the person I was before, but I am as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “… a new creation. The old has passed away. The new has come.” I am no longer defined by who I was, but who I am in Christ. I am only who Christ has made me to be: a wholly new person!
What I have learned is that I must every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, and every hour of every day remind myself of this newness in my life and not give in to the old that has passed away. Let us all do this in one of the best ways possible: in constant worship of Jesus our Savior, and in the community of the church to remind each other of this truth.