The New Creation

 

Butterfly caterpillar  monarch-emerging

2 Kings 5:1-14
Psalm 30
Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

 

When a caterpillar attaches itself to a leaf and forms a chrysalis, it begins a transformation that results in a butterfly. It is a new creation, one over which the caterpillar has no control.

The new creation for humans involves a choice. We live in a world of our own making in that humans introduced sin and sin has corrupted the entire universe. If we want to avoid the consequences of this bad choice, we must make a new choice, namely, to stop sinning and do good.

Paul Tillich in The New Being, said it this way: What is this New Being? Paul answers first by saying what it is not. Circumcision is a religious rite, observed by the Jews; sacrifices are religious rites, observed by the pagans; baptism is a religious rite, observed by the Christians. All these rites do not matter—only a New Creation. No religion matters—only a new state of things. What it says first is that Christianity is more than a religion; it is the message of a New Creation.

There are great religions beside Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and the remnants of classical Judaism; they have their myths and their rites—so to speak their “circumcision”—which gives each of them their distinction. There are the secular movements: Fascism and Communism, Secular Humanism, and Ethical Idealism. They try to avoid myths and rites; they represent, so to speak, uncircumcision.

How shall Christianity face them? Shall Christianity tell them: Come to us, we are a better religion, our kind of circumcision or uncircumcision is higher than yours? [Paul] says, No particular religion matters, neither ours nor yours. But I want to tell you that something has happened that matters, something that judges you and me, your religion and my religion. A New Creation has occurred, a New Being has appeared; and we are all asked to participate in it.

We have a choice. We can remain the caterpillar, munching away on the poisonous milkweed, or we can choose to become a new being. Our biggest problem is that we like the milkweed too much. It is a tough habit to break, especially since we have to live in the land of milkweed.

It took Naaman a while to make that choice. It took time for the disciples, even after witnessing the power of the Holy Spirit as people were healed and demons were defeated.

I cannot call myself a Follower of Christ until I become a New Being in Christ.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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