Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Today, as I was driving down the street, it was trash day and of course after Christmas I see all the empty boxes, gift wrapping, etc. that were left from the holiday. Along with that I see tree after tree set out on the curbs for trash. It reminded me of a childhood memory.
Coming from a low income family as a child, I remember a tradition we had. After Christmas on days like this, we would pile in the car and go shopping for a Christmas tree for the following year (You heard right!) My brother and I didn’t know any better and we were excited to be able to pick out what we considered the best tree. When we chose just the right one, we would take the discarded tree, pile it on our car, and happily take it home to hang it upside down in the garage. It would stay there till the next December and it was just as exciting to get it down and decorate it at the appropriate time. It was like new for us.
It kind of reminds me of how throughout the bible God takes the Discarded, the Useless, the Broken and Marred, the Outcast and makes them new. Some synonyms of these words that we might better relate to are: Rejected, Abandoned, Neglected, Good for nothing, Worthless, Stupid, Hopeless, Hurt, Scarred, Friendless, Not accepted, or Unwanted. What one considered worthless, was precious to another, and so it is with Christ. Jesus hung on a different kind of tree with us on His mind and that’s how precious we are to him. Max Lucado quotes, “Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want” and from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes away our sins.” Forgiveness, justification, and new birth are all available by grace, thru faith, the gift of God.
The word “new” in the key verse is the Greek word, Kainos. This word means fresh or new in form and quality, a completely different nature than before. Are you feeling worthless, or hopeless? Hurt, or rejected? Has someone called you stupid, or good for nothing? Although as a child, the old discarded tree seemed fresh to us, but in reality it was dry and dead. Are you feeling spiritually dry or dead? Ask Jesus to pick you up, fill you with His Spirit, and make you brand new. How amazing that there isn’t anything, or anyone, but only Jesus who can regenerate us and give us a fresh and new start.