Monday, November 23, 2015

The Gospel: New and Yet the Same

I had a difficult night's sleep where I seemed to be worrying and fretting about many things (to paraphrase Jesus in speaking to Martha of Bethany). It was one of those nights where I tossed back and forth, never sleeping deeply, my dreams punctuated by lots of things, big and little, that are making me anxious.

It didn't help that I woke up a little before 2 certain that I'd heard gunshots outside. We live in a small city and we're in an area near a now empty lot, so I suppose it's possible -- though it's also possible I heard firecrackers (that happens too) or a car backfiring or just a loud noise that my brain transformed into something much more anxiety producing.

I finally fell a little more asleep in the wee small hours, though I never felt like I slept as deeply as I needed. Which is all the more reason to be grateful for the thoughts I woke up to, which are simply this: the gospel never changes. The same gospel at work in the lives of the apostles, saints, and martyrs is the gospel at work in me. The same gospel that freed my great-grandmother and set the hearts of so many others in our family to dancing in delight is the gospel I get to dance to today.

Isn't that amazing? It's true that God's mercies are new every morning (great is your faithfulness!) and that those mercies are new and fresh in each generation, each person, in a different way. But our hope, while as fresh as the new dawn, is also as old and older than the sun. God doesn't change, and neither does his life-giving word. Our hope is rooted in his eternal changelessness and yet new and fresh as he stirs it into the swirling waters of this day, this me, this life. The gospel that spoke to my anxiety and fears in the night is the same gospel that shines brightly in the light of the morning. We have this sure and certain hope.

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