Old and New

What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done;

there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

2014 is on the way out, 2015 not yet arrived. My sons and I spent yesterday with my side of our family at our yearly New Hampshire post-Christmas gathering. In one way, there was nothing new about this year’s version of the decades old tradition. Most of the same characters showed up, with three absences due to work or other engagements. The menu was a mix of past favorites (chowder, chili, veggie sticks, and wine) and one or two new items (bread bowls and icebox cake). In another way, everything had changed. Last year, MacKenzie hadn’t been born yet, Kristen and Jay weren’t married, and my brother was still living in Arizona. The children have grown in ways seen and unseen, and the adults have changed in ways hidden and obvious. Life continues along its course, but everyone involved lives it in uniquely blessed ways. The same is true for countless other families coming together in countless other places; what has been done is what will be done.

But a new year is coming just as surely as an old year is leaving. Giving thanks for what has been, living into what is, and entrusting God with what will be – old and new, endings and beginnings. Letting go of the past to embrace the present and future – that’s my working definition of faith, December 28, 2014. Nothing new under the sun, and all things new every minute of every day.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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