New Year, New Term, New Creation

New Year, New Term, New Creation

16 January 2024

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9

As we continue to settle into a new term in a new year, I’ve found myself reflecting on what it means to be a people of hope; waiting for God to make all things new.

The sad reality is that if you look at the news you will see that there is no shortage of reasons to feel hopeless. Our world is profoundly broken, and if we’re honest, the sector and systems we work within can often feel that way too; marked by scarcity, stress and strain. We as church school leaders, can so often ourselves carry the weight of that dis-ease in our own minds, bodies and souls.

But according to the scriptures, the brokenness, scarcity and dis-ease we see and feel all around us is not the full story or deepest reality. Rather, we believe in a God who loved the world so much that he sent his one and only son into our world, not to condemn it but to save it (John 3:16-17). A God who promises to one day return and dwell among us; who will himself wipe every tear from our eyes, heal every hurt, right every wrong, and “make everything new”. (Rev 21:5)

This is the unique hope of the Christian story.

Not only that, but this reconciling, redeeming God invites us to partner with him in that great work whilst we await his return. 

Strange as it may seem, you and I are appointed by God as his “ambassadors”, tasked with the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians  5:18-20), (the work of mending and realigning what feels broken and out of sync with God’s will and ways). And not only that but we do this work confident in the knowledge that no matter how hard or discouraging things may look and feel at times, “our labour in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:18)

But what does this mean? And what difference does it actually make to the daily demands and tasks of leadership that we face?

Well, as N.T Wright describes so beautifully in his book “Surprised by Hope”, this perspective has the power to change everything:

“You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that is about to fall over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that is shortly going to be thrown on the fire. You are not planting roses in a garden that is about to be dug up for a building site. You are – strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself – accomplishing something which will become, in due course, part of God’s new world.”

This means that every act of kindness, mercy and love that we sew into our church schools and staff teams, every minute spent investing in the education and formation of the children and young people in our care, every act of care and compassion, of “going the extra mile” for disadvantaged and vulnerable students, every opportunity taken to build a culture that allows the development and flourishing of all. All of this will, in some mysterious way, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself, find it’s way into the new creation which God will one day make.

This means that what we do as agents of God’s love and peace in the present, day to day stuff of life is by no means wasted. Rather it is of eternal significance, lasting all the way into God’s new world. In fact, as N.T Wright remarks, “It will even be enhanced there”.

Now if that’s not encouragement to keep up the good work - I’m not sure what is! 



Prophets and pilgrims of Hope- even when it is so difficult to be - wonderful post
Thank you
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2024 12:41 by Caroline Vile

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