2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV)
We hear a great deal about recycling these days, and are constantly being urged to handle our household waste in such a manner that it can be reprocessed into something new, rather than simply be dumped into a landfill. As stewards of God's creation, we have a serious obligation to facilitate and promote this important programme in any way we can.
The definition of the word "recycle" has changed over the years. In Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary (1974) it is defined as the setting of a new cycle in a machine. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (1998), however, provides an updated definition. Here, "recycle" is defined as converting an object into something new. It also has a "dot com" association. In computer language, a "recycle bin" is a figurative dark corner of the computer where material can be sent out of sight and out of mind, and from there can be brought back, permanently deleted, or left there forever. Usually it is permanently deleted.
I do a bit of writing for various publications, and normally save anything that I have written on my computer hard drive for a while, in case I might want to refer to it again later. Periodically, I send everything that I have temporarily saved on the hard drive to the "Recycle Bin," and from there permanently delete most of it.
Once I wrote and temporarily saved a short article on Jesus, and when some time I later instructed my computer to send the article to the "Recycle Bin", the question, "Are you sure you want to send 'Jesus' to the Recycle Bin?" appeared on the monitor. And then when I went into the "Recycle Bin" and instructed the computer to delete the article altogether, the question, "Are you sure you want to delete 'Jesus'?" came up on the monitor!
While of course I recognized that the computer was simply a non-reasoning machine responding to my direction, the machine's responses were nonetheless thought-provoking. Are we in fact sometimes inclined to "recycle" Jesus to make Him fit more comfortably into our own personal agenda? Are there aspects of our lives from which we might subconsciously wish to "delete" Him? We live in a time of tremendous change. Long-accepted values, ideas, standards, and beliefs are being critically "recycled" every day, and many of them are being "deleted."
Is there anything any more in our society that is constant and that we can count on, we might ask? Indeed there is, and that is Jesus. He "recycled" us when He died on the cross for our sins, and there is no power on earth that can delete Him from our hearts if we ask Him to be there. And He will never delete us!
Prayer: Remind us, Lord, that in a world of constant and unsettling change, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Amen.