New Life, New Hope, New Birth at Christmas and Always

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By Melissa McLaughlin

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Galatians 4:4-5

New life. New hope. New birth.

I remember the touch of our children’s soft faces against mine when they were just infants. Gentle cheeks of velvet, silken arms reaching for me, a tiny finger closing around mine with newborn strength. Tender as downy angel wings, fresh with new life, fragile with delicate grace, bright as the color of spring. The recollection alone of their sweet little bodies nestled in my lap brings a lingering warmth to my heart.

As the years pass, we reminisce about times past when we, too, were younger, filled with energy, pulsing with vitality, eagerly anticipating new adventures unfolding before us. All too soon, these realities are replaced with a new reality. Aging bodies, worn spirits, weary hearts, wary minds, aching souls.

Waiting for New Life

Certainly God’s people, the Israelites, faced this same ebbing away of life, as they awaited their Messiah year after year after year.

From the time of the last Old Testament prophet Malachi’s final utterance in God’s Word until the birth of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament gospels, they waited. Some four hundred years they waited as life chipped away. They faced captivity by enemy peoples, back-breaking work rebuilding their sacred homeland and bone-wearying oppression.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Galatians 4:4-5

When we are in a place of waiting, even when it feels like we’ve spent 400 years watching the second-hand of God’s clock, waiting for Him to make His heavenly move, may we remember this most wonderful gift of Christmas, the gift of God’s own Son who brings new life, new hope and new birth.

Let us take heart then, for God’s story of redemption, captured in the pages of the Bible, is strewn with miraculous new life from beginning to end.

God’s Gives New Life in the Bible

Let us pause and marvel as God’s plan begins with the creation of all new life in Genesis 1. As the account of humankind begins here, the world is fresh and unspoiled, teeming with young life.

God’s creation and recreation moves on like a swift river. Following a devastating flood in Genesis 8, God carries new life through one family, the heartbeat of a dove and the verdant twig of a budding olive tree in the Biblical story of Noah.

All too soon, God steps into the lives of Abraham and Sarah creating miraculous new life in a depleted body and a worn out womb as recorded in Genesis 18. Imagine their steady, unbroken, unfaltering faith as they observed their son, Isaac, growing little by little, one miraculous day after another, knowing they laid no claim whatsoever on his existence. A living breathing, walking, talking daily confirmation of new life, new hope, new birth at the hand of the Lord God Almighty alone.

A few generations later, despite a life-threatening famine when almost all hope was lost, the Israelites were provided a second chance at life when Joseph used his place of high rank to provide God’s people with a new home in Egypt, offering sustenance of life through new provisions and food in this amazing account in Genesis 46.

After being enslaved by the Egyptians, God unleashed a quick glimpse of His unending creative power through Moses, who performed miracles by God’s hand forging new paths through impenetrable seas, releasing new food from heaven above and spewing new water from solid rock. The new life at every turn in these chapters of Exodus points to One who revels in the act of creating. New life, new hope, new birth.

Miracles of New Life in the Bible

As the timeline of God’s divine birthing continues, we learn of God supplying a widow with new flour, new oil and even new life to her dead son through the Prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 17. These accounts of God bringing forth something out of nothing are repeated again and again through the Old Testament and lead right up to the moment of Jesus’ birth. Clearly these chronicles speak of a God who is a passionate Creator and Provider!

As we move on toward the birth of Jesus as told in the New Testament book of Luke, the miraculous birth of Jesus is intricately interwoven with the miraculous birth of another, his cousin, John the Baptist.

Once again, we find an elderly couple, past the age of child-bearing years as the chosen parents. The priest, Zechariah, and his wife, Elizabeth, are privileged to partake in God’s offering of new life as Elizabeth gives birth to their son, John, as foretold by the angel Gabriel.

In each of these instances and countless more, God worked through limited, incomplete, imperfect humans who stood in the ashes of impossibly dead situations to produce new life, new hope and new birth.

New Life, New Hope, New Birth for Us

As we peer with tired eyes at our feeble hands, weak knees, scarred hearts and hardened spirits, may we invite the Creator of all, to create in us again new life, new hope and new birth. Let His nail-scarred hands wrap around yours. Brush your face against His thorn-pierced brow. Lean in close against His sword-slashed side. Let the One who is the Resurrection and the Life, speak to you of the truth of new life He has already won for you as He stared death and destruction head on and defeated evil forever. Though we cannot redeem the time we have lost, the sorrows we have felt, the tears we have shed, He can. And He stands with the arms of eternal life reaching for you, inviting you to be reborn into His heavenly family where despite your decaying form, your brittle heart and your broken soul, not far up ahead awaits new life, new hope, new birth. For unto us a Savior is born.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Galatians 4:4-5

Additional Resources

The Sound of Joy at Christmas By Melissa McLaughlin

The Time Between Time: Two Extraordinary Moments in God’s Story By Melissa McLaughlin

Dr. Tony Evans – The Perspective of Christmas

35 thoughts on “New Life, New Hope, New Birth at Christmas and Always”

  1. Yes, our God is the god of new beginnings, new hopes, new life !!! Thank you for demonstrating it through the redemptive narrative we see throughout the Bible! Such a fitting read for the Christmas season!

    Reply
    • God is so amazing! Thank you for reading and sharing your reflections, Galina. Truly, I only skimmed the surface of just a few examples of God infusing new life into what was once dead. Sometimes, I just need to stop and remind myself of all God has done to be re-energized with His Spirit. God bless you!

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    • Beth, thank you for the kind and supportive words. You are right, the Old Testament lays the foundation for and magnifies all that is to come in the New Testament. Those who miss that are missing the fullness of who God is and what God has done and will do. Blessings to you!

      Reply
  2. One of the things I thought about as I read your post is that His story is re-told in our own lives. We have the redemption and new life that we have each experienced. His story continues in us, in our children.

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    • Luisa, I love this thought! Truly, when we pause and reflect back over our own histories, much like the Biblical history, we can see God breathing new life into our dusty lifeless forms. May He bring back to your mind ways He has done this in your life. God bless you and yours!

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  3. Melissa, thank you for reminding us of this new life given to us in Christ. Even as the Holy Spirit brought Jesus to the womb of Mary, so He brings Him to live forever in our hearts. Blessings to you and all who experience this new life with every new day. 🙂

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    • Dear Frances, it’s such a gift! A sacred, holy, incredible, life-giving gift. May we be in awe each day of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, that we may be filled with His truth and love to share with others. Blessings to you!

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  4. The one thing that I walk away from after reading your post is that we are never too far gone, lost or hopeless when it comes to the work of God in our life. Thank you for walking us through the Bible as you have to give us this insight. Beautiful and very needed in my life. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you, Marcie! What a deep soul-relief knowing we are never too far gone for God to redeem. He always has more to say and do in our lives, as He has demonstrated in the Biblical history with His people for all ages. May you be blessed with His power to renew this day!

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  5. I’m so glad the Lord can redeem my shed tears, and that he will! Your words are always so beautiful! And I love reading your writing. Today I’m weary. I’m wrapping up a project while starting another. My husband works long, LONG hours at this time of year, so I’m mostly alone. At the same time, I’m attempting to remove all the clutter and distraction from my life, so I can focus on Christ at this time of year. Much is up in the air over which I have no control. It cannot be removed, and it will continue to poke at me.

    Therefore, this part really resonated with me at this moment: “As we peer with tired eyes at our feeble hands, weak knees, scarred hearts and hardened spirits may we invite the Creator of all, to create in us again new life, new hope and new birth. Let His nail-scarred hands wrap around yours. Brush your face against His thorn-pierced brow. Lean in close against His sword-slashed side. Let the One who is the Resurrection and the Life, speak to you of the truth of new life He has already won for you as He stared death and destruction head on and defeated evil forever. ”

    Amen! Jesus is all I need. That reminder to lean up hard against him is definitely required right now. Very timely, Melissa!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Melinda, for pausing amidst all that is weighing on you to read and reflect with me! Some days the weight of our lives seems a little heavier and sometimes it is the circumstances around us that seem to magnify our weariness. But you are right, it can renew our strength just to refocus on Jesus and what He has done from before all time, through all time and even right here, right now in this little time in my little life. Jesus is still in the miracle working business. He has not changed. And he can bring new life up from the dead. May He breath new life into the dead corners of our hearts this day. God bless you, dear Melinda!

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  6. Dear Melissa,
    It is so good to look back and see all the ways that God has led and redeemed the past. I was so touched by this: “In each of these instances and countless more, God worked through limited, incomplete, imperfect humans who stood in the ashes of impossibly dead situations to produce new life, new hope and new birth.” When I feel so weak, He is still redeeming, even here and now. Thank you for these precious thoughts about the depth of God’s love for His people! Blessings to you!

    Reply
    • Dear Bettie, you are right, it can bolster our spiritual strength to look back at all that God has done to reach down and lift us up, for it is a long story of incredible life-giving love. May His story of redemption and new life give you peace, hope and strength today, as I know you face the challenge of soul-wearying pain day after day. May He meet you there in a special way, that is just for you, lifting and holding and carrying you through. God bless you, sweet Bettie! Sending, love, prayers and hugs.

      Reply

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