Thought for the Day: On Monday, after the heavy rains from the night before, I didn’t know if I was going to get my lawn mowed. Monday is my day off, and I am always hoping for good weather to complete the task. It was finally dry enough around 4pm, and so I got out the equipment (lawnmower, trimmer and the leaf blower), got to work, completed the work, and put the equipment away. The job was done, and I didn’t plan to give one more minute of my time to mowing until next Monday. If you were to think of it in regard to the verb, to mow — it was future – I need to mow; present – I am mowing; past – I have mowed. In Greek, the original language of the New Testament, there are some other verb tenses, including one called the Perfect Tense. It is something completed, yet the ramifications of its completion are still being felt. I was done mowing, and there were no lasting ramifications except a slight twinge in my lower back.
Paul wrote a second letter to the church at Corinth, and in it he talked about a new creation. The old had passed away, and everything has become new. The verb we translate as has become is the Perfect Tense. Yes, in Christ Jesus, God has made all things new. But it isn’t as if God has put away the tools, shut the garage and gone to take a nap. What God has done is still happening, in the sense that we are being renewed every day. Lamentations speaks of God’s mercies being new every morning. Does that mean God comes up with an entirely new set of mercies every day, or is it that we are growing into a fuller understanding of God’s glorious mercy? I believe God has already completed the task of a new creation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We, on the other hand, are in a constant state of renewal and restoration, waking to each new day with the opportunity of living a life that more fully resembles the new creation that is Jesus. It’s as if God has already finished mowing the lawn, building on that analogue, yet we are inside fretting whether we’ll get it done before the rain comes. We need to start living as if the task is done, because it has. And others, simply by interacting with us, should be able to see what God has already completed.
Prayer: O Creative and Renewing Spirit, there is a lot of work needed within us if we are going to be those who live as if there is a new creation. You’ve completed the task, yet thankfully you did not go and take a nap. You continue to invite us to appreciate and live as those who know what has been done. Allow what has been done to gently shape our lives so they more fully resemble Jesus, the one who is the new creation. Amen.
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