My year always begins the same. I open a Bible and begin to read, “In the beginning God ...” As I read the ancient story that has been called the fall of man, I remembered once more how God sent mankind away from the Garden of Eden, lest they eat from the tree of life in their now sinful state (Genesis 3:22-24).
What intrigued me about the reading was that only a day or two before, I had concluded my reading of the Bible for 2013 and had read some of the last words therein.“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city,” (Rev 22:14).
The same tree of life that was taken away from me because of sin is now my right? I began to imagine those two passages as bookends holding the Bible in place. As a matter of fact, they serve as bookends of life itself. What I have lost because of sin, I now have complete right to because of Jesus Christ and the cleansing that he offers! Once again, my mouth utters that great theological word that says it all, “Wow!”
In gratitude, I repeat the 235-year-old words of John Newton.
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I’m found;
Was blind, but now I see.”
Happy new year!
Bruce Henderson is the minister of Airport Road Church of Christ.