By Beverly Lapp, professor of music
This week’s theme: Let it be new!
Nanchong, China was my home for four months this past fall with Goshen College’s Study-Service Term. This week’s Advent theme, “Let it be new,” resonates with my hope to have the experience in China linger and create change in me as I return to Goshen and the United States, my beloved city and home country. I want to see with new eyes, to listen with a wiser spirit, and to ponder with an expanded perspective. I want to practice new patterns and actions. Yet I find it so easy to slip back into old life as usual. Did it even happen? Why don’t we feel more changed after interrupting our regular lives for a semester? Shouldn’t we be new people? What does the experience mean if it doesn’t lead to newness?
This week’s scriptures tell of God in motion, present with God’s people through waiting and change. We are jolted by Mary’s song promising a new world order. We are assured that mysteries will be revealed through faith in Jesus, and that nothing is impossible with God. In each text we are given hope that transformation is not only upon us, but that we are never alone.
Our human desire for newness is intensified by the waiting expectancy of Advent. Whatever it is we are each ending and beginning in our lives, this yearning can be seen as a healthy pressure of Advent. The magnitude of the disruptive birth of the Savior cannot leave us unchanged. Let us be new and let the world be new.