Cap's Corner: New year, New beginnings

by Cap McIlnay

Christmas has come and gone, and as most of us are preparing to pack all that is Christmas back into its box and put them away until next November, we still are looking at New Years.

New Years is a funny thing that happens each year. It is a moment in time that has the power to make us take inventory of what was and what could be. We look back at the previous year and not only say goodbye to it, but reflect on who and what we were during that year.

At the same time, we are looking forward to the New Year with wonder of what that New Year will bring, but we also contemplate on what type of person we could be. This is why so many of us make New Year’s resolution. We are using that point in time, that time between what was and what will be, to mark a new beginning for some of us.

We might be visioning a thinner healthier us, or a tobacco free us, or a more educated us. My point is, we are looking at making us new again. New Year’s gives us that ability each year to have a “do over.” We get to try to make a new us!

And most of us fail.

However, there is a more defined, a more perfect point in time, when we truly do have a new beginning, and that is when we die. For those who believe in Jesus, death is not the end of all ends, but it is much more like New Years’ time. It is the end of one existence and the beginning of a new.

In most of the funerals that I do, I read from the book of Revelation. In chapter twenty one to be exact, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” “The book of Revelation is John’s prophetic writing about the end times. There is a tremendous amount of symbolism that is in John’s book, and like so many other prophetic writings, it most often only becomes clear after the prophetic event has taken place.

Well, obviously the end times has not come yet, at least not in full, and that is why there still are so many different interpretation of this book out there. However, even with that said, there still is a lot of beautiful imagery within the scripture that speaks to us all, and this chapter is definitely one of them.
In this one, we have God saying that he is making all things new. Our New Year’s resolution might be making new life choices, or new eating habits, but God is talking about all things new! What does this look like? What will it be like?

The answer is laying in the few verses previous to this one, “3 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. 4 ‘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.”

Of course, we are talking about heaven here. Here, in heaven, we will be living with God himself. Now, pay attention to the verse that states, “4 ‘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.” God, not an angel, but God himself will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Imagine when you were a little child, and a bee stung you. You were crying and along came your father, and with his big strong arms he lifts you up and holds you tight. He wipes away your tears telling you it will be okay, and like magic, you stop your crying because you not only believe your father, but you know that you are safe in his arms.

Imagine leaving this world, the world that has held so much joy, but also pain, lots of pain, and waking up in the arms of your father as he is wiping away your tears. You discover, in pure joy and love, that the pain is gone.

All the pain is gone. The physical pain, the emotional pain, and even the spiritual pain. Where cancer once was, nothing but health is now there. Where betrayal and anger once was, nothing but joy and love now remains. Once were loneliness was, nothing but full companionship is now there. Where death and decay was, nothing but full life now remains. This is the life that God had always intended for us. This is what is in the future for all of the children of God.

So, we look at 2019 with hope of new beginnings, but we fully look forward to the time when God makes every thing new again!

Have a happy and safe New Years!