Wednesday, May 8, 2013

All Things New (Homily 52)

"Do not remember the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing...." Is. 43:18-19

"If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new." II Cor. 5:17

"And He that sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'" Rev. 21:5

God is eternally unchanging in His nature and essence, yet it is in His nature and essence to make new things. This is what Chesterton would call "one of the million wild jests of truth." God is in the business of doing things you've never seen before, things like virgins giving birth, ways in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, and the death of death through the death of God. He is a God of surprises, showing us "great and mighty things you've never known" (Jer. 33:3), because He is the Creator and He cannot help but create newer and further splendors, surpassing the old without invalidating them, for the new law is the fulfillment as well as the end of the old (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 13:8-10).

Yet His creations and recreations are all of a single consistency. Nothing is random or arbitrary. Our God's constant life-giving, creative effusions are all new and yet of the same pattern, wrought with the same purpose, "as ancient and as young as spring" (as Lewis put it). It is neither a mindless repetition nor a mindless chaos but a plan, a work of art, thoughtful and creative, ordered and free, true and beautiful. Like a hill full of flowers: different colors, all flowers, growing into a quilt of many-colors on the hillside. So is the creative work of God. He builds newer and newer, greater and greater, edifice upon edifice, line upon line, thread upon thread, all into an infinite tower and tapestry standing as an ever-living, ever-growing monument to His goodness and might. Its fruits and flowers shall never fade, but shall bloom anew and afresh with colors and flavors hitherto unknown, yet always hinted at in the crops that came before. And on every cornice of that holy mountain, shooting up like a technicolor geyser into the infinity of God, the Father will forever delight His children with the same refrain: "Behold, I do a new thing." Amen.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

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