New Beginnings

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Most people know that sports is one of my hobbies, and baseball is at the top of the list when it comes to sports that I enjoy following. Some years ago I even got involved with a fantasy baseball league that allows you to draft players, follow them through the year, and enjoy friendly competition among friends and family.

So, Spring is always an exciting time. Not only is the weather changing for the better, but my baseball teams and my fantasy baseball teams have a new opportunity to start fresh. In fact, that is what Spring Training is all about. A fresh start for teams to put last season behind them and focus on the new opportunities that lie ahead.

Last season the Boston Red Sox did exactly that. The season before they had finished last place in their division, but this past season they corrected all of that and won the World Series. From the bottom to the top. All of those teams who finished in last place last year are beginning this new season with that in mind.

In these months leading up to Easter we are in a time called Lent. In some sense Lent is like Spring Training for the baseball teams. During this time we are encouraged to focus on our spiritual lives and our relationship with Christ. By doing that we learn to grow, renew, and restore things that lead us to new beginnings in Jesus’ name.

In 2 Corinthians 5 the Apostle Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) That is a wonderful truth that we need to live with each and every week. Your past, good or bad, does not have to define your future. Jesus Christ can take all of our experiences and make them new! His grace and forgiveness is always awaiting us.

There is nothing more refreshing than knowing that you have a new beginning ahead of you. It gives you hope, it lifts your spirits, and it helps you to envision a positive outlook for the days ahead. And to be honest, we all need that. In fact God created the world around that premise.

Robert Morgan says, “The first person to invent the wheel only discovered what God had already designed, for the Lord created things in circles. The stars and planets are round, they move in orbital circuits, and life, as a result, moves in cycles. Every one hundred years, we have a new century; every 365 days, we have a new year; every 24 hours we have a new day; every 60 minutes we have a new hour. God created the potential for new beginnings into the very design of our universe.”

He goes on to mention that almost every hero in the Bible needed those new beginnings as well. We are in good company. I hope this season of Lent can lead you to a closer relationship with Jesus and his promise that everything can be made new through him. Easter is coming and that is the everlasting proof when it comes to new beginnings.

Make it personal:  Enjoy your Spring, enjoy the baseball season, and may your team do well this season! More importantly, may you embrace the new beginning that has God in store for you personally!

Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church