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Did you catch those words? According to studies done on the psychology of advertising, these are the ten top words to use if you’ve got something to sell.
What do these words tell you about us as people?
I read in those ten words: relevance, trustworthiness, relevance, trustworthiness, hope, relevance, trustworthiness, trustworthiness, relevance, and hope. We want a product that fits our situation, can be relied upon, and that gives us something no other product has fully been able to do before. We’ve been disappointed far too often in the past by promises that were not fulfilled. We’ve become jaded, wary, and cautious of what we will buy into. Do you think those words only apply to our culture, and our generation?
Have you noticed something about the past nine parts in this series on ‘A New Creation’? Of course there has been the repetition of the word ‘new’: new song, new thing, new name, new covenant, new heart and spirit, new compassions, new commandment, new life, and a new and living way. But looking deeper, have you seen the relevance, the trustworthiness and the hope each of these aspects of a new creation evoke? We must admit, God’s message to people is timeless. It’s relevant, it’s trustworthy, and it gives us something nothing else can: it gives us real hope.
I’ve been reading an article comparing the atheism of Richard Dawkins to that of his predecessor, Friedrich Nietzsche. The author attempts to show that Dawkins’ basis for hope in a godless existence is shallow compared to Nietzsche’s. Yet the latter’s self-described hope consisted in accepting only the tragic nature of life; and ironically Nietzsche suffered an emotional and intellectual breakdown in the prime of his life that left him insane, insensible and wretched. His ideology had left him hopeless. Not a confidence-inspiring advertisement for ‘life after God’, is it?
When the ideological leaders of Jesus’ day refuse to believe his deity, Jesus has a few words for them. He gives them the true picture of human existence (John 5:16-47):
- The Father and the Son are the sole givers of human life, which does not end in the grave.
- The moment defining our ‘life after grave’ future lies in what we do now with Jesus. Do we hear his voice and live? Or do we refuse to come to him to have life?
- Jesus will not judge the latter—that will be done by the ideology in which they trusted.
- The former, entrusting themselves to the Giver of life, will find their hopes realized.
So what we do now with Jesus is incredibly relevant to us. Becoming a new creation is for the here and now, but it is also for the then and there of eternity. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The new heart and spirit are built for immortality. The new covenant goes beyond the grave. The new name gives us an identity fit for eternity. And the new song has unending ages in which to be sung.
The great true irony of life is that only when we humble ourselves to accept a new life outside of ourselves do we become the creatures we were designed to be. That’s what God’s creative love does, and it’s a guarantee you will find nowhere else. So, go on. Reach out to the Hand that’s reaching out to you, and become a new creation.