Holy writ is full of promises of renewal.
In 21:104 in the Qur'an, we find God saying, "We shall reproduce creation just as We produced it the first time."
And in the final book of the New Testament, Revelation, we find God declaring, "Behold, I am making all things new."
So although calendars are simply humanity's way of marking the passage of time, they reflect a persistent spirit in religious thought that renewal is coming, refreshment is just around the corner. Christian theology suggests that God is drawing us into God's new future -- not coercively but persistently.
And if we are to pay attention to this new future, we will be required to let go not just of some of the past that has hurt or disappointed us, but also the old futures we once imagined. So as this new year begins, I invite you to cast off your old futures and be ready for something better, a new heaven and new earth, a reproduced creation, all things new.
(The photo here today is one I took a few weeks ago at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City. I didn't see the streaming sunlight until I got home and looked at what I had shot.)
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A FAILURE OF PROTECTION
Does the U.N. Human Rights Council protect religious freedom? Is a bear the pope? Of course not. This report gives you the sad details.
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P.S.: For help abandoning your old futures and your pasts full of pain, I invite you to attend a writing workshop I'm offering April 29-30 at Heartland Presbyterian Center in Parkville, Mo. It's called "From Pain to Hope Through Writing," and you can find all the details you need right here.