My daughter and one of her besties sprawl across her bedroom floor, making notes and drawing pictures for the book they are creating; they call themselves the Inklings (after the group of writers CS Lewis was a part of).
The girls want to listen to music, while they do their work, and come across some old cassette tapes tucked away in the closet, asking me to play them. Yes, shockingly, we still have an old tape player.
The music starts, tears form in my girl’s eyes, then mine too. A strong, beautiful alto voice, so familiar, so confident. It’s my grandma.
She was part of a gospel music group that sang at the hospital and personal care homes, sharing the love and hope of Christ through music. Her love for song was evident throughout her life, as she joyfully played piano and sang together with us. Now, she’s singing with the angels; the sweetest, most amazing worship music ever.
I smile and give my girl a hug. Then head back down the stairs, letting the girls continue their work, with the harmony resounding. I’m almost til the bottom stair when I hear their two soft voices now singing softly along to “Washed in the Blood.” My heart smiles, the old hymn resonating with their young hearts, but old souls.
The Old Has Gone
These cassette tapes are old, the tape curled delicately inside. Our old things can be fragile, have rips and holes and can become unreliable. Replaced quickly by new technology, music went from cassette tapes on to CD’s, then with the development of the iPod, the music world was forever changed, with storage now for hours of music on one little device.
The old was replaced with the new, just as our nature has an old and a new. The entrance of sin into God’s good created world, resulted in a nature entrenched in sin, unable to choose the good. But now “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come” (2 Cor 2:17). We were once living only for ourselves, our own desires, and our own satisfaction. Now, through the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we have the grace to choose the good, to resist temptation, that we would “no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom 6:6) but live the best possible life, “that our joy may be full” (John 15:11).
In our daily struggle against temptations, we see the effects of bearing our sinful nature. New creations we are, but we carry along with us our old tendencies toward ourselves, but the good news is that by the help of the Holy Spirit, we can choose the good, and live with the hope of God's continued work in us, for His glory.
The New Has Come
My dad is restoring an antique truck; disassembling the parts, stripping them down and repainting them. The end result won't be a new truck, as it still has it's old parts, but it will look new.
The message of the gospel is traced from creation, to the fall, to redemption and finally to restoration. One day, we will be made new, we won't just look new, but all things will be made new. It will be a day of wonder and amazement to discover what that new-ness will look like.
For today though, we can take courage that our new life in Christ has changed us. We have the grace of God to persevere in stepping more toward Him and along His path. The hope of the gospel in this day to day, is the truth that He is at work in us, for His glory in the world and for the good of others.
May you be encouraged today, with the fullness of joy that He promises us.