Every new year, people always look forward to a new beginning, as if we had drawn a line and settled the account of our life at the end of the past year. We rip off the old and welcome the new in the new year and embark on a new journey once again. Perhaps this is God’s intention when He created the four seasons, allowing rotation and continuous change.
In nature, we can see the life cycle of all living things, they continuously and endlessly grow and change. When it comes to our faith, I hope brothers and sisters are able to break through of our old selves in the love and grace of the Lord so that we may grow into the likeness of our Lord, and that they are also able to love each other and seek to build each other up in the community.
The term “Ecdysis” specifically refers to the process when a cicada moults and sheds its exoskeleton. It essentially means transformation. Transformation is the word often used when the shape or nature of things changes. Nowadays the word often refers to changes in people’s thoughts that result in a change of behaviour or image, into something completely different. This transformation is generally regarded as an improvement: it is a wonderful process through a period of cocooning or refining, because this brings forth change. The expectation of new things brings excitement and a break from the old. The process should be cherished and embraced with hope.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”, Rom 12:1-2.
Paul told us that we have to transform our mind. The word “mind” in the original text is “vous”, meaning our hearts, it also means our attitude and understanding which include our values and morality. Paul says, in the book of 2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
This change of life is brought forth by salvation, thorough and complete, the old has been transformed to the new. All those who have been saved should have this real and precious experience. We must continue to exert our utmost effort to pursue and live a holy life day by day.
I hope, “To transform and grow” is not only a slogan, but is indeed happening in our lives. May all of us break through from our old self and live our new life so that others will see that we are His disciples. Every moment, we live to glorify the Lord and for the good of others.
Rev. Florence Wong