Happy New Year!
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Life in the Church is about new beginnings – whether repentance, baptism, Pascha, Pentecost, Sundays or New Years. All give us a chance to begin again, to experience a renewal of heart and mind. From the 2nd Century we read in the Christian document, Epistle of Barnabus, how God is working to renew us, to regenerate us as His children.
He has thus renewed us in the remission of sins, making us in another pattern, as though our lives were that of an infant, making us completely anew. For Scripture is speaking of us, as he says to the Son: “Let us make humanity after our image and likeness, and it should rule over the beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea.” (Gen 1.26) (On the Two Ways Life or Death, Light or Darkness: Foundational Texts in the Tradition, Kindle Loc. 1273-77)
We are spiritually being refashioned, transfigured and transformed in Christ. Spiritual renewal is not a one time event, but a lifetime of growth in Christ.