We are a new creation in Christ
By Jackie Morfesis
We joyously celebrate the New Year. A time when old grievances, heartaches and memories are forgotten. We have hope and anticipation for what the coming year holds.
We even have resolutions. We eagerly want to do better in the New Year. It represents at its core a new beginning, a new chance for success and happiness.
There is nothing wrong with new beginnings. There is nothing wrong with celebrations, and shared hope. However, as Christians we know about a new beginning that is so profound, so complete, and so life altering that it affects us in the here and now and for all eternity. We are a new creation in Christ. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Our old self is washed. Cleansed. And remade. When we see through spiritual eyes, we see possibility not despair. “All things are possible to those who believe.” (Mark 9:23) We know that whatever ashes have accumulated in our lives, we serve a God who brings beauty from ashes. “To grant to those who mourn in Zion — to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise in the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
We have all sinned. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Yet our lives do not end nor stay in a place of brokenness. God sent His Son, our precious Lord to save us from sin and to bring hope into the darkness.
But we have work to do. Every day we have work to do. To be committed to our true identity as a child of God and ambassador in His kingdom. Being a new creation means that we belong to God. We are in this world but not of this world. (John 17:16)
We have an assignment. Scripture says we are anointed for the appointment. We aren’t given the gift of the Holy Spirit to hide it. To cover it. We are given the Light of the Holy Spirit to shine and to spread the good news that Jesus came for everyone.
We are not the ancient Greeks who told the mythical story of Pandora’s box, the box that Pandora was warned not to open. Which of course she did — unleashing horrors and calamities upon the world … except for hope which was saved when she shut the box. Unlike the story of Pandora’s box, we know that our hope came in the name of Jesus Christ, who was sent by the Father, who went to Calvary — who was crucified, who arose on the third day according to the scriptures, because that’s how much He loves us.
Because that’s how much we matter to Him. He is our beloved. Our anchor, lighthouse, protector, redeemer, deliverer, healer, and salvation.
Let us continue to celebrate that all things become new, everyday of our lives. There is no shadow, darkness, evil, human cruelty, memory, trauma, nor crisis, that has the power to keep us from our God if we draw near to Him in our suffering. “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
We must not only know our identity in Christ, but we must also know the true identity of our houses of worship. The church is God’s house, the body of believers, and we are the church. The church is the bride of Christ as told to us in Ephesians 5:25-27, with Christ as the Bridegroom. This is the intimate and beautiful relationship we have with our Lord.
This is the church we serve, and this is the God we serve, not only in the celebrations of our lives and the joyous times, but every single day, and every single moment that we breathe. We must always remember our true identity and our true purpose in living out His plan for our lives. For we each have a unique role in building His kingdom right here on earth. He created us and with His saving grace, we are indeed a new creation in Christ.
Jackie Morfesis is an author, advocate and creative artist. She holds a BFA in fine arts and an MA in liberal studies and is a former Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar to Greece. She is a Greek Orthodox Christian and devoted to spiritual matters.