Your May Devotion

Introducing the all-new...

We've all seen the commercials... A beautiful car drives down some empty coastline making turns with the greatest of ease and revving it's engine with unbridled flair as a voice says, "Introducing the all-new Kia Sorento/Ford F-150/Chrysler 300/whatever." Whenever I see those commercials, I always ask the same question. Are they really "all-new," or are there still four wheels, a bunch of windows, some seats for our increasingly large American rear ends, brakes, a gas pedal and a cup-holder or seven? Truth is, no matter how much they say it's "all new," it really isn't.

Oh sure, it's improved. My first car was a 1993 Dodge Colt. It was a beautiful car (at least to me), but it didn't have trunk space like the Focus I have now. My parents' 1994 Plymouth Voyager got abysmal gas mileage, but their 2008 Grand Caravan got upwards of 25 mpg on the highway. But here's the problem... The Colt's emergency brake froze in place, the Voyager rusted out, the Grand Caravan was totaled, and my Focus seems to need repairs every couple months.

See, no matter how new something is, it inevitably gets old and wears out, and our bodies are no different. Your knees probably don't work like they used to, or you keep forgetting things, or you can't seem to escape back pain. Sin is wreaking havoc on us and because of it, all things do not stay new. They die. So, why does something so common as wearing out and dying seem so absolutely abnormal for us? Why can't we just get used to the idea that we live for a while until we wear out and then we die? Because we were made to never die!

When God made Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, all things were new and were not dying, but Adam's disobedience changed all that. God said, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” ~Genesis 3:17b-19 What a terrible life! Everything will be difficult and you will work at that difficulty until you die.

You know that life all to well, don't you? In Spring, you see all the beautiful flowers start to grow, but you know that the weeds are not far behind and that by November, those flowers will be dead and gone. The scary thing is that we are no different. We come into this world as little bundles of newborn beauty, but the sin in our hearts and the world around us tries to choke us out all the time until that day when we die. So, how does anyone have any hope?

We hope in the Lord who will make all things new again. He won't just improve what exists, he will wipe away every remnant of this sinful world in order to replace it with a perfect new heaven and new earth where we can live and live and never die because that's what we were made for! Because Jesus lives, you also will live, and though this life will be full of struggle, we have the promise and hope of a perfect, all-new world to come where we will be with Jesus forever. God be praised for giving us salvation from these bodies of death!

As we finish the Easter season this Spring, remember that God has promised you an all-new body, heaven, and eternal life in both through Jesus empty tomb. Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” ~Revelation 21:1-5a

God bless your Spring!
Vicar Caleb Schultz