It’s a new year. A time of fresh starts, new beginnings.
“There’s nothing new under the sun,” said the expert on terrorism law during a public forum I attended. “King Solomon knew that; it’s in the Bible.”
There are no new thoughts, no new actions, he said. Nothing original. In the context of his presentation, the only thing “new” was that people continue to invent more effective ways to hurt, kill, or annihilate each other.
He’s right about one thing. There is a quote in the Bible about the lack of new things.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9).
But there is something new, that never has been before, and never will be again.
You. And me.
God never made another one like you, or me, or the terrorism expert. We’re new.
And so everything is new. Each moment of each day presents a new opportunity to choose wisely, to make this life something new, and our lives something new.
What we do, how we do it, what we think, what we feel, each action, is new. Because we are new, unique, never having been before, and never having another like us.
Our choices each day will impact not only our lives, but the lives around us, and those yet to come. And so the Good Book also inspires us to choose wisely: “... I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deut. 30:19-20).
Choosing life means choosing Christ, and the Great Commandment: love.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22: 37-38).
St. Paul said anyone who chooses life and love in Christ, “... is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Yes, there is something new under the sun.
You. And me.
Our choices can make us, and the world, new.
Grant, O Lord, that by loving you, we may love each other always, and live according to your will.