Old Chains, New Year

I love New Years. It brings with it so much promise. Everyone gets a fresh start. We can put the mistakes of the previous year behind us while we joyously March onward. It’s fresh and unblemished. The new Year looks like a freshly fallen snow. There aren’t any foot prints to befoul the glistening white blanket of winter wonderment.

I was sitting in church today listening to my pastor give his first message of the new year. He was reading from 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” He remarked that he felt the same way about the new year.  Just like the new year, in Christ, we are new creatures, unblemished.

While I found that thought to be comforting it occurred to me that there are those who may not have that same assurance I did. There are those who still carry their mistakes with them. They are chained to those mistakes. They can’t ever find any peace because the chains attached to those mistakes are a constant reminder of a past that they wish they could forget. It is an anchor that does not allow them any freedom.

There is no promise in the new year for those people. They only see more of the same misery. The sad truth is that they are most likely sitting next to me at church.   They are my coworkers. It is the old homeless guy who sells flowers at the corner of 111th and Pulaski near my house. It could very well be our children or our spouses.  It could be a teammate on my nephew’s basketball team.  Maybe it is the parent of a child my wife teaches.  The point is that there are people all around us who carry their chains on daily basis.  They live lives without hope not knowing that the key to removing their chains is hidden in my heart.

People are hurting and they need Jesus.   This year let’s not hide that key.  Instead, let’s give away what was freely given to us.

Listening to the voice,



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