“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.'” — Revelation 21:5
If all endings can be beautiful while being painful, embracing the new should come as no surprise: it can also be beautiful and painful. Birth itself is a painful process, and it exemplifies a fact of all beginnings: they are hard. When things change, they do not go without resistance, but as we push forward, we may yet enter into joy. We may yet see all things pass away and all things become new…
It is 2015. It is later in history than it has ever been, and we are here. What will we do with our year? With the new slate that lays before all of us? We are beginning again. We have moved through Advent and Christmas, and we are coming into the newness of the year. Things feel fresh, and there is a crispness to being. We are getting a taste of renewal and the redemption of time.
Time is an extraordinary thing; the renewal of time something that verges on the transcendental. Every year, though, we get this glimpse of that experience, of time being made new, and with it, all things that are in time. This is redemption on the cosmic scale, all creation being made new, and all being brought to peace, love, and grace at the end of time. At the end of time, there is the beginning of a new time, a time that is with God, a time that is fully a part of God’s time. Every year we preview that.
And is there a better reason to feast? I think not! With the renewal of time comes the celebration of all things good and beautiful. Feasting is a natural, human response to the graditiousness of being — there is not merely one kind of thing to eat or drink, but hundreds, thousands, and thousands of ways to prepare it or mix it. In the Christian scriptures, we seem the people of God celebrating, feasting, at the end of time, when all things are made new and ta new kind of time begins. We experience previews of that; they are shadows and glimpses, and the joy someday will be infinitely greater, because that time, the time of heaven, does not grow old, does not fade, does not grow less festive.
May we this New Year experience in some measure the renewal of time. May we celebrate the graditiousness of things and of life. And may we begin to understand the majesty of all things being made new.