January 02, 2015

The Joy of New Beginnings

Psalm 33:1-11

The earth is full of his unfailing love.

—  Psalm 33:5

New beginnings often give us a sense of hope and joy. Newly married couples radiate happiness on their wedding day. Choosing a new place to live is often an exciting adventure. There's a certain energy that accompanies the start of a new school year. And we celebrate the new year with parties, cheers, and even fireworks.

God designed creation to give us a similar sense of hope and joy. Before sin entered the world, creation radiated God's justice, faithfulness, and love. God's word, by which the heavens and the earth were created, gave structure and meaning to all created things.

At times, we still catch glimpses of this beauty and joy in creation. We marvel at the smooth sand on our favorite beach. We watch the sun set over the ­water. We wonder at the ­complex patterns of frost etched on our window panes in winter. We admire the fresh snow blanketing trees in our yard or neighborhood. And when spring comes, we are delighted with the first blade of grass or the first blooming flower.

Too often, though, in our hurry through life we miss the creative majesty of God at work. What's new soon becomes old, and we feel no reason to offer praise or even take notice. As you enter this new year, ask God to help you instead to observe something new each day about his unfailing love in creation.

Creator God, the stars and the seas declare your goodness and love. By your Holy Spirit, help us do the same. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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