Zachary Bright

The Wonder of it All

U-Turns Permitted

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You are never too old to

Lamentations 3:22-24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Jeremiah 31:31-34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Matthew 9:14-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Matthew 13:52 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Romans 6:4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Let’s think together about “newness.” We alternately desire “newness” and resist it. We need safety and some order in our lives, but then sometimes we hear the call to change, to adventure, to great projects, or just a change of scenery. Maybe we would like a “clean slate” and a new beginning, a fresh start, a “do over.” The call to remember God’s mighty acts in history and in our lives is an important theme in the Bible; I wrote about this in my post, “The Gift of Memory.”

One night last week, Jack Lewis, the Bible Study Dog (BSD), was restless. Our usual routine is that I lay down on the recliner chair, Jack jumps up and gets his bedtime treat, then the BSD wedges himself between my right leg and the arm of the chair, and Voíla!, we settle into our respective canine and human dreams until morning. But on the night in question, the Bible Study jumped down, and wandered to the front door. So, I let Jack out; he was out for about twenty minutes, so he presumably did his business. Coming back in, the Bible Study Dog made a gesture toward sleep and routine, and then he was down on the floor, begging (it’s a high-pitched whine that is not attractive at all, as I’ve tried to explain to him) to be let out. The process was repeated a couple more times, and then I decided to share the joy with my bride. Terry made a few tries at satisfying the BSD, and the next thing I knew was that I was staggering across the room to the bathroom to brush my teeth thinking I had had maybe an hour and a half of sleep.

Author: Zachary Bright

Until February 2014, I was pastor of Divine Savior Presbyterian Church for about 24 years. I am interested in theology, alternative music, new worship music, culture making, philosophy and dogs. Most of all I am interested in extending the Kingdom of God and its blessings to everyone around me. I am the Director of the Southern CA. C.S. Lewis Society and I am a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary. My wife Terry, my dog Jack Lewis and I host a Bible Study in our home on Sunday afternoons.

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