New Year

Posted on Jan 8, 2014 in Theology blog | 0 comments

Jack Irwin – My Blog for the New Year.

Already the “New” Year seems old.  Did you ever have that feeling, too?  I am back to my old schedule, my old work, my old bills, my old relationships.  But it’s only the sixth – and I don’t mean the sixth month, the sixth week.  I mean only the sixth day of the so-called “New” year.  What’s so new about it?  What have I to live for, for the next 359 days?

I heard the Pastor say in Sunday’s sermon that we have plenty to live for, and we shouldn’t feel old about life ahead of us.  I heard the Pastor say that the Holy Spirit gives us a direction, a nudge, a nod – or maybe even pushes us off our comfortable pews.  I even heard the Pastor say that the Holy Spirit gives us visions and dreams.  Wow!  Now that got my attention.  In the church – new visions and dreams?  You’re kidding – the church as got to be one of the stodgiest institutions going.  So I left church wondering what dreams and visions meant for my life, for my work, for my relationships, for my friends at church, my neighbors and my family.  But, suddenly, I was back into my old routines.

But some things have busted through my old routines.  Some things that did not feel “old” at all.

What was this on the “staid” church website?  Something so totally different from a list of programs, calendars, staff, mottos.  Something so different.  So new that it struck me like a bullet of energy and amazement —  a wonderful video, a wonderful testimony, something that reached into my heart and emotions.  Something that told a story I could identify with; not just a list of programs at the church.

Actually, it was someone who told a story of his own life, my friend Rev. Dr. Paul Aijian.  He talked about his life and “goin’ Home.”  Now Paul is 95 but he is not talkin’ ‘bout goin’ Home to Heaven.  He was telling his story of what he finds in the church.  No, not in the “church.”  In the body of believers that usually hangs out at First Pres Newhall – this is the place he said that heals his loneliness and fills his need for fellowship, that is never quenched by all the substitutes of the world.  This is home – the experiences of caring, love, concern; of hugs and kisses; of laughing and crying together; of praying and singing together; of belonging to each other.  Indeed, Dr. Paul testified, this is a divine plan.  Or to put it another way, this is Heaven on Earth.  And shortly, the video was over… but indelibly on my visual memory, not to be forgotten.

As if that wasn’t enough, the screen, now blackened, like we often feel in the world around us or even in our own experience, lit up with words in white letters:

“All you will know you are my disciples …

If you have love for one another.”

My, my Old New Year is suddenly a New Year again.  I had a new commandment that makes newness an ever happening in my life.

For the Kingdom,

Jack Irwin

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