New Beginnings

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Mar 27, 2017

Dear Friends,

Spring has sprung! With the change of seasons -from winter to Spring, I have been thinking about new beginnings.

Each one of us has experienced a new beginning at some point in our lives. New beginnings take different shapes. You begin a new relationship, or renew a troubled one. You have a child enter our lives or lose a spouse. You may start a new job, suddenly be unemployed or enter retirement. Moving to a different home, city or country brings a new beginning. Growth in faith and perspective represents a new beginning. No doubt, new beginnings can be challenging, freeing, exciting and also scary.

God is about new beginnings. In every book of Scripture, we witness a new beginning of sorts. The book of Genesis begins with the words ” In the beginning, God…” In Chapter 12, Abraham was uprooted from Ur (now Iraq) to be grafted into the Hebrew people. Moses, at the age of 80 began to lead the people of Israel. Each Old Testament prophet  experienced the weight of the mantle of their responsibility, as God called them into His service. In the New Testament, Jesus called ordinary people to begin, what would be a lifetime of learning as they followed Him and subsequently invited others to do the same.

The theme of Healing is yet another Scriptural example of a new beginning. John Chapter 5, tells us about Jesus approaching a man at the pool of Bethesda. The man had been crippled for 38 years. Along with many other sick and afflicted people, the man settled at this pool daily. Each person was hopeful for the chance to be the first to enter and be healed after the water was stirred. The crippled man never won that race to the water over the years.

So Jesus, engaging the long suffering man, asks a question that, on the surface appears peculiar: ” Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6) The man does not give a snarky response. In fact, let’s unpack Jesus’ question. Perhaps Jesus was asking: “Are you ready to lead a very different life?” or: “Are you ready to “walk” into a new dependence on God and not as much on others?” or “Are you ready for a new beginning?”

For certain, the man’s healing carried with it serious implications. Over the 38 years, he had developed a routine and coping strategies -relying on the community to help him. Being healed would truly change his life. Yet, the man looked to Jesus and desired the healing. Jesus responds -calling him to his feet. John writes: ” at once, the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” (John 6:9) At that point, the man began a new life.

Each healing in bible times and beyond, is a sneak peak of the life that was meant to be experienced by all humankind. Jesus question to this man can be applied to each of us. Do you want to be healed? Are you ready to walk into a deeper relationship with Jesus? Are you willing to begin a new way of faith and response to the world? Are you willing to allow Jesus to heal you of a crippled way of seeing the world?

Jesus is calling you and I walk in greater reliance on Him and to walk in His power. I urge you to listen to Him.