Here I am staring at a blank screen. I have a blog post due today, but I don’t really have anything new to write. So let’s go with that: much of the Christian life and the Christian ministry isn’t new and doesn’t need to be.
If you’ve been a Christian for a little while, maybe you haven’t learned anything new about God or faith in quite some time. This is not usually a sign of a problem. There’s no commandment that you have to be constantly finding something new. Further and thankfully, we aren’t under any compulsion to be discovering new songs for worship or unexplored realms of theology.
Because Biblical Christianity isn’t about what’s new, but what’s old.
We don’t write new Scriptures – we only keep reading the ones that have been around for many centuries. We don’t write new songs – we keep singing the same ones David and Jesus sang. We don’t imaginatively explore new areas of theology, but we let the old truths sink deeply into us. We’re less concerned to find something new and more concerned to be something new.
Maybe humanity has always worshiped at the altar of the new but never more than right now. Now our new phones feel outdated in two years, our fashionable clothes seem obsolete long before we’d like, and we’re relentlessly taught that everything new is somehow better than everything old. If you and I are trusting Jesus, let’s reject this outright and decide to celebrate what’s old.
If your daily Bible reading doesn’t turn up anything new, don’t worry. Most of the Christian life is just remembering and believing what you already know.
If next Sunday’s sermon isn’t anything new, that’s probably just fine. Worship isn’t so much a groundbreaking lecture as a great feast. Who wouldn’t want to repeat the best meal they ever had?
If your church isn’t too hip or relevant, it might just be a sign of something good. The world doesn’t need the church to lead in what’s cool but in what’s holy.
If you don’t have anything new to say to your friend who’s hurting, be encouraged. They rarely need something new; they need something true. Most of good counseling is lovingly repeating Scriptural truths until the hurting person listens.
And when you have a blog post due but nothing new to say, lean into it and delight in a God who never changes and a faith that doesn’t have to be new to make someone new.