No New Thing

I stared into my cup of now cold tea, tracing the outline of the elephant on my mug with my finger, frustrated, only to get up and find my husband in the next room so I could host my pity party with someone who was forced to listen. “Nothing to write?” He asked. “No. Nothing new.”

Call me Qoheleth.

I have been noticing that my posts sound pretty similar, and yet, as person who loves God’s Word, it also excites me. This work of art, literary genius, that we have in the Bible is that it both has one message and yet, so many stories, different genres. Many have said it before, but the gospel is truly like a diamond, multi-faceted, and no matter which way you spin it, it’s beauty shines a different light as each facet shows something new, and yet one in the same. I can go back even years later to a familiar passage to see something I hadn’t seen before. Another day, something will strike me in a new way, and yet it is still the same story. He is beautiful.

Is it any wonder that we need each other? This humbles me as I can spend hours on a passage in preparing it for teaching, and will be struck by the gift found in something I never thought of within the same passage out of a mouth of another person. The things we miss are tremendous when we go forth as a lone ranger or even continue forward with only those who look and think like us.

It may come off trite, to slap the gospel sticker on everything, for sure I am one who drank the glorious kool-aid and bought all of the books with that word plastered on its cover because I still can not get enough. I won’t ever graduate from needing Jesus, never “mature” enough to do this without him. The glimmer on this new edge of the brilliant diamond of the gospel we are gifted with wakes me up from a slumber, the Lord’s Table prepared for even me, found on every page new mercies.

He is with us.

I excitedly share with a young woman in a side office the chiastic structure of Psalm 23 to climax in those words, for You are with me, and yet, the same truth shared on a cold, Sunday morning from the book of Habakkuk finds me comforted once more. I frantically run through Hobby Lobby to look at Christmas bulbs to match my living room pillows in mid-September because I am a crazy person, only to remember Immanuel, God with us. These days are hard, the waves of fear and anxiety from whatever or whichever or whomever never ceasing it seems, and the firm foundation of his with-us remains steady, the same.

So today, no new thing. In the middle of this season that has been a breathing in and out of lament, I hold on to salvation.

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We must realize the utter depth of our human sin and need in the fact that this immeasurable thing had to happen and did happen. The Church and all Christendom looks in its message at this immeasurable and unfathomable fact, that God has given Himself for us. And that is why in each really Christian utterance there is something of an absoluteness such as cannot belong to any non-Christian language. The Church is not ‘of the opinion,’ it does not have ‘views,’ convictions, enthusiasms. It believes and confesses, that is, it speaks and acts on the basis of the message based on God Himself in Christ. And that is why all Christian teaching, comfort, and exhortation is a fundamental and conclusive comfort and exhortation in the power of that which constitutes its content, the mighty act of God, which consists in the act that He wills to be for us in His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
— Karl Barth