In Christ, we are made new creations. It’s basically out with the old, in with the new. Our old sinful selves are replaced with shiny new versions and we are reckoned as righteous and holy before our God. Just like National Use-Up-Your-Leftovers-in-a-Jell-O-Salad Week, the old is history. Are you with me so far? Ok, good. Now we get to the hard part – letting go of the past and living into the future.
In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul is telling the people to make a clean break from their old ways and begin to think and act in new ways, Christ-like ways, not letting the devil get his ugly nasty foot in the door. I think for many of us, letting go of the old is very, very difficult, if not seemingly impossible. We want to hold on to what we know. Change upsets the status quo. Even if things are bad, at least they are familiar. While we stubbornly hold on to the past, we leave little room for the new things God has in store. Yet Christ continually calls us into a new way of being.
Waving good bye to the old can be painful. The new may represent the unknown or perceived instability. The new may represent a previous attempt at making positive change, but not having that new vision come to fruition. But if we are to follow our Lord and be his precious new creations, we must be brave and shed the old to make room for the new. We must be brave enough to face the new head on and let the past be the past. No more negativity. No more jealousy. No more “I tried that and no one wanted to get in the boat with me!” No more why didn’t I think about that? No more status quo!
Ok, this is where it gets real for me. Sometimes, I cannot seem to let go certain pieces of baggage. Oh, I can put them on the shelf, pretend they don’t exist. But then something happens and each and every piece comes tumbling down and I feel like I’m being buried alive. And if we are honest with ourselves, I do not think I am not alone.
It is when we are buried under the rubble that is our lives, Paul’s reminder that it’s OK to be angry but “do not make room for the devil” rings so true. We all know if we give the evil one an inch he’ll take not only a mile, but our peace of mind, our joy, our hope, our trust in God’s providence. The only way out of the mess we often find ourselves in is on our knees, praying for God’s presence. Praying that he’ll help us leave anger and jealousy behind. Praying he’ll help us move forward into the unknown. Praying he’ll once again, grant us peace. Praying he’ll make us brave.
Our Father in heaven, we thank you for your presence in our lives. Give us strength to keep the devil at bay. Let us not be buried by the baggage we seem to so desperately want to hold on to, but help us day by day to shed the old and make room for the new. In Christ our Perfect Brother’s Name we pray. Amen.
Grateful for God's Grace,