Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Of Our Fathers Whose Almighty Hand"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 5:17 – So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (NRSV)
As I was looking for some information about something the other day on the Internet, I kept landing on a site that was a couple of years old. I knew that there was a more current website, but the search engine couldn't seem to find it for me. I got thinking about the computer memory and how often it will remember mistaken passwords or information for me. I wonder how true to life this experience is for our own memories. How often do we hold on to the past and keep old incidents stored in our heart or mind?
I work as a chaplain in a seniors' care facility, and often, I'm asked to visit with residents who may be holding on to things from their past. Perhaps they haven't had the opportunity to deal with a past hurt or a loss in their life, and so they haven't been able to let go of it. Just like the computer, when they go back in their mind's eye to that time, they stumble on that past injury, and they can't see anything else. Even after many, many years, it's still there, a wound that has never had the chance to heal.
Sometimes, we can recognize those hurts in our own lives, and we want to move on, but we just can't. We need help to move on. Sometimes, the only way that we can get past those hurts is to ask God to take it away. We have to ask God to help us let go of it.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 – All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (NRSV)
If it helps, think of new life in Christ like a fresh start for the computer. Once the cookies, passwords, browsing history, and temporary Internet files have been cleared, none of the old information will be popping up all the time. We can begin anew. What a gift! And the gift doesn't stop with us. The gift is shared with our family and those around us. As we share in the ministry of reconciliation, God's love and healing is spread.
Prayer: Thank You, loving and healing God, for Your gift of being with us and helping us to let go of past hurts. If there is anything that we are holding on to today that we need to release to You, please show it to us and help us to let go of it. We ask for Your healing in our lives so that we can share in Your ministry of reconciliation, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.