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Forty Days of Proclamation: NEW

Friday, October 23, 2020

40 Days of Proclamation – NEW

Patricia Eastwood

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

“Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:27-28

When asked to write about my word for the year, I was a little ashamed. I had no immediate recollection of my word (except that I had picked one). Obviously, given that I had not exactly meditated on the word during 2020, I figured I would simply find the word in my prayer journal and confess this latest evidence of chaos in my life.

The task of rediscovering my word was made more difficult by the state of my family’s affairs in early January 2020. It turns out my word is NEW and the entry about choosing the word was made on the day of my father in law’s funeral, January 3, 2020. I literally never wrote of the word again in 2020, until now. And, yet, despite a lack of attention to the word “NEW” in my journal, God’s ever renewing love appeared all over its pages The exercise of re-reading my journal, searching for my word, illuminated to me the power of the new covenant in my life, especially when I am struggling. And, my struggles have been real in 2020 – changes to my job, new guilt and fears as I’ve dealt with my mother in law’s move to assisted living and nagging concerns for my children in college and high school. It has been a lot. Throughout, here’s what I see in my journal from January 3rd to the present: God always showed up when I prayed. God always cared for me when I was down. God’s faithfulness is indeed great.

I wanted to wrap a bow around this post by thinking about what the Bible explicitly describes as NEW. I was guided to Lamentations 3:22-23 which speaks of God’s never-ending compassion for us which is “new every morning.” GOD’s love is never depleted or worn out. God’s gift of LOVE is always perfect and 100% and available to each of us. I am holding on tightly to that verse that uses the word “new.” I am also shining a light on the Gospels that describe the new covenant without using the word “new.” By Jesus’ declaration, as recorded in Matthew and other places, we are promised freedom from sin and shame. We are indeed NEW in Christ. It does not get more explicit than that. Alleluia!

Dear Lord, thank you for your faithfulness, even when our prayer life is not tidy. Please forgive us for any shortcomings we perceive in our execution of the year 2020. You know our struggles and hearts and read our journals and understand what is on or not on the pages better than we do. As we manage our life, please help us to routinely ponder the impact your son Jesus is making in it. We know you are always there with us. You promise us your grace every day, every moment. We are so grateful for your faithfulness and forgiveness. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.