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The calendar may not say so yet, but it is Spring in my town. These beautiful pink trees are all over town. On the way home from my son’s preschool the other day we counted all the pink and white flowering trees we saw from preschool to our home, a twelve-minute drive. He was able to count 88 – and he didn’t even see all the ones I could see from my vantage point! I took this photo on the way home, just a few blocks from my house. On my particular street, we are the only house with a pink tree, and it calls out to me like a beacon of hope and joy… it is spring! New life is springing forth! Daffodils and other bulbs are popping up everywhere, and if you look closely enough, you can see many more trees and plants just on the verge of transformation.

I was talking with friends about these trees, and how every one seems to be it’s own little blessing from God. Spring changes the whole landscape from bare and brown to colorful and alive. In C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe” – the first written in his Narnia series – the melting of snow and budding of trees was a sign that Aslan was returning to Narnia – that Aslan would make all things new. I wonder if this is how it felt to the disciples when Jesus showed up on the scene. Because when Jesus comes into our lives, everything changes. What once was bleak and bare now becomes alive and colorful.

“Who do you say I am?” Jesus asks in Luke 9. We had a great discussion about this at our women’s Bible studies this week. Who is Jesus to you? People had various answers, as we discussed not just the person of Jesus in the gospels, but our entire view of God…

  • Trustworthy; faithful; unchanging
  • Savior
  • Peace
  • Provider
  • Daddy
  • Romance: one who delights in finding ways to show just how much He loves us… like by helping us notice the goodness around us in opening our eyes to the blossoming pink trees
  • a Father who speaks to the inner child in us, reminding us of the simplicity of the relationship He calls us into, and the childlike faith He wishes us to have
  • Husband (Isaiah 43:21 – “I have formed you for myself” – God calls us into a life of partnership)
  • Strength

For the disciples in Luke 9, they rightly identified Jesus as Messiah – but even so, they did not know what that meant! And in that, God reveals Himself as a patient teacher.

To this list I also add, He is a God of New Beginnings. Whether that is a Salvation experience as we are born again, or a daily rediscovering of His ways and His faithfulness and care for us, or if He is working to repair the things that have been broken in our lives.

“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth – do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

I am so thankful of the New Beginnings that God daily makes available to us. Jesus changes everything! Luke chapter 7 is full of such occurences! For the gentile officer with a deathly ill slave, Jesus was one whose authority stretches over time and space, and who can immediately affect change with just a word. By extending grace to this man and his servant, Jesus was also one who welcomed in an outsider – not because of his good deeds to the Jewish community, but because of his great faith to seek and receive a miracle. His faith changed everything!

For the widow whose only son had died, and now faced debilitating poverty with no male to secure the rights to her property, Jesus was compassion. The woman did not even ask, but in the face of her great need, Jesus’ compassion changed everything! And in that moment, his reputation spread across and beyond the borders of Judea.

For those who followed John the Baptist, Jesus was a fulfillment to their hopes and expectations; He was one whose actions spoke louder than words ever could. They asked, “are you the one?” and in answer, he showed them first, and said second: “the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” New beginnings, new beginnings, new beginnings are available everywhere you look, when Jesus is present!

For the woman whose sins were great, again, Jesus was compassion, and by her faith – shown through this act of great love, her new beginning became possible.

Can you see it??

Will you let Jesus in??

“Behold, I am doing a new thing — do you not perceive it?”

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