Happy New Year! Did you do any traveling this holiday season? I flew to Ohio and found myself riveted to the UA safety video. I even chuckled embarrassingly aloud in more than one place. Somehow, it just feels more fun to watch a seatbelt demonstration while the flight attendant is zipping through Paris or New York in the back seat of a cab, or to see the shocking look on a kangaroo’s face as he hears the flight attendant tell passengers to “rip open the pouch” of the life vest found under the seat.
I definitely paid more attention than normal to the fact that the “nearest exit may be behind” me when I was told to look by a demure Japanese flight attendant who had miraculously constructed a perfect model of the Boeing 737 out of origami paper while seated in front of glass doors with the view of a multi-storied pagoda just behind her.
The old information, heard a thousand times, was still all there, but the new settings and approach made me watch and listen with a whole new set of ears!
Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28:16-20 that he had been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” and he was charging the disciples with the task to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
He assured the disciples that they wouldn’t be alone in their task, but he said that “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Like the United Airlines safety video, this old, old message has been told thousands of times. It is still the task of Jesus’ followers today, and we are still not alone. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, is still with us.
Sometimes, preachers and followers of Jesus get a little bored of the “old, old story,” and, in their honest desire to tell it in a new way so people can hear it afresh, neglect to include all the important parts–like avoiding to use the name of Jesus so as not to offend anyone, or to glide over parts of the Bible they don’t understand or particularly like.
The safety video, however, still included all the information that people needed to hear, and we still need to hear, and I pray that as I share my faith in Jesus through the novel that’s coming out soon, I won’t leave out any of the important parts, either.
This winter is when the novel is scheduled to be edited by the publisher, and when I’m likely going to have to make some revisions. Please pray for me and my publisher that together we will be faithful to the old, old story in a new, new way, and create something that our readers will love. Thank you for being a part of it!
Happy New Year Blessings! May God grant you the desires of your heart this year!