June 2, 2013

Being Made New

   Sunday Scripture and a Song

It was a very good spring for lilacs. An abundant crop of flowers blessed those of us who love these harbingers of the midwestern springtime as we enjoyed their glorious flowers and heavenly aroma. A recent visit to the Longnecker Gardens in the UW-Madison Arboretum was a delight to the senses, as dozens of different varieties of lilacs vied for my attention. I can almost smell them as I write this. Or maybe, it's the new batch of Korean lilacs blooming outside my window.

In all their glorious beauty, these flowers are made new again each spring. 

While enjoying my own 'Sensation' lilac, I noticed an anomaly. What makes this variety so unique is that each lavender flower petal is outlined in white. 

However, I found a branch with a pure white bloom. Somehow, one part of this shrub had reverted back to one of its parent plant's colors. 

In its efforts to make something new, a bit of the past snuck into its genetic make-up. 

I think sometimes I can be like that lilac. 

With the grace of God I am made new with each day. And my forward progress allows me to become a new creation as I journey through my days.

But sometimes, part of my past tugs at me, pulling my thoughts into a place I really should not go. It is wearying to hold onto emotions tied to times in our life that we know we need to let go. We never forget, yet we do not need to dwell on sorrows, mistakes, or painful memories.

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19

ONLY through God are we made new. With each and every day, we are given the opportunity for new growth in our spiritual lives, and this is reflected in the choices we make every day. We have to make the choice to move forward, and not to revert to past behaviors or ways of thinking. Every day, we must choose. 

God gives us the blessing of His grace, so that we may have the opportunity to change our path, our way of thinking, and our lives. It is easy to be made new. We just have to trust in the One who gives us new mercies with each and every day.

Today's song is "Moving Forward" performed by Israel Houghton, written by Ricardo Sanchez and Israel Houghton. This is a powerful worship song to help us celebrate the freedom of choice in trusting our lives to God, and the strength we gain by giving our lives to God.

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