Three Psalms begin with “Sing to the Lord a new song” (96, 98, and 149). A new song! How exciting is that?
We are capable of seeing that which is around us, delving into that which is within us, and proclaiming the great works of God in our lives. He gave us voices to speak into the world and hands to do His work. We are creative beings serving the great Creator.
To speak of God as the Creator evokes Genesis in our minds. We go to “In the beginning” and “God saw that it was good” as our Creator verses. Here is one that we don’t often think of: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
God does things in the most unexpected ways. He made the world and gave created beings a voice to name what they saw. When sin came into the world, He gave a tribe of slaves the gift of carrying His name to the nations. When they fell away from Him, He accomplished through them what had been His plan from the moment we first sinned: He sent his Son to be born as a baby. The eternal Word was made flesh, grew up in a broken world, lived among broken people and called broken disciples to His side. We have heard the story so often that we miss the surprise of it — the sheer awesome wonder of a Creator sent to die for His creation. What glory!
In September, I listened to Bishop Matthew Thomas speak as the Free Methodist Church in Mexico became a provisional general conference. He talked about how God never does the same thing twice, however similar things might seem. We should not look to God to do again what He has already done.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).
Yet our churches often look the same as the one next door. We all sing the same songs written by people we don’t know. We talk about doing things “the way we’ve always done it,” and we wonder why things feel stale and stagnant.
We can be creative! We can write new stories and songs. We can reach out to people with new hope. We can learn to care for our broken, dying world in new ways. We can approach the throne of grace this Christmas with childlike wonder at the amazing things God has done. Jeremiah 2:13 says, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Let’s return to the spring of living water and see what new things the Creator would have us do.
MARK CRAWFORD is the assistant editor of Light + Life Magazine. He resides in Tucson, Arizona.
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