When I was last out to my home, I had to opportunity to go through the two neighbourhoods where I lived as a child. It wasn’t hard to tell that things were different from when I lived there. But then that was – relatively speaking – a long time ago. Of course there had been more development in the last 30 years. There were a lot of houses in the fields where my friends and I road our bikes and played. There are no more backyard rinks to skate on. No roar of the go-cart engines as we putted around our homemade track. There was no game of ball hockey out in the middle of the street. There were parents teaching their kids how to ride their bikes, chasing behind them as the rider learned to hold the balance. Families and individuals have come and gone from the neighbourhood. Some have grown up and moved away while others have died and still a few remain as if lingering and waiting for something. I fill in the people that I remember and fill in their place… how they sounded; the things they used to say and do. I remember the way things used to be.
Things are much quieter now than I remember. To my eyes, things in the old neighbourhood have grown old and tried. Things have changed and we wish that they could have stayed the same, thinking that we could be forever here and forever young. I wish that I could make it all new again. I wish I could walk down those familiar streets, seeing familiar faces and greeting friends. I wish I could go for one more ride with my dad to the local arena and score one more goal to be able to feel the thrill of it all. I wish I could make my family and friends young again and take away the pain and struggles that time has placed on them. I wish I could but I can’t. I wish I could do these things but I can’t. But God can. In fact he promises that he will make all things new.
This is why Christ came at Christmas and that is why we not only remember his death; we also proclaim his resurrection from the dead and his ascension to glory. In fact we celebrate that through this month – that Jesus is King and that he is coming again in glory to judge both the quick and the dead. Christ came to begin the process of the new life and the new creation. It is why he was found in a manger by shepherds and crucified by spiteful people who wanted a demonstration of power before they would believe the message, and though his death was the sign that he wasn’t able to deliver. But they were wrong, way wrong. They took Christ’s death as his defeat. It was the path Christ had to walk to free those who would believe from sin and death. We need to stop and realize this is going on today; that the new creation and the new life starts here and is still coming. God is still working out his new creation that Christ made possible through his incarnation. God still works to make all things new. Thanks be to God that he does and that he calls you and into this work with him.