The centerpiece of our annual anniversary trip was an Alaskan cruise on the Island Princess. Their theme is “Come Back New.” Their advertizing brochure invites you with these enticing words. ” Escape to breathtaking ocean views, fresh, local flavors and the chance to see someone you love in awe of the world again.
It is indeed a relaxing way to vacation and enjoy special time away from your daily routines with your husband or wife. They use words like “refresh,” “renew” and “revitalize” to emphasis the new feeling you will experience.
It occurred to me, however, that contributing to the new feeling is more than just delicious food, gorgeous views and relaxing activities. You are unplugged from social media. Unless you want to spend an outrageous amount for 15 minutes on facebook to post a picture of your food!
For 7 days and 7 nights very little news. No Today show with Matt Lauer. No O’Reilly Factor or The Kelly File. No Sports. No newspaper. No comics. No Dear Abby. No surfing the ‘net. No yahoo news feeds. No checking my email about 10 times a day. And no concerns about the stock market.
For 7 days we were isolated from the latest revelations about Hillary Clinton’s emails. And missed whatever outrageous things Donald Trump tweeted.
Interestingly, upon our return I am finding that the problems, challenges and concerns of the world haven’t changed very much. Presidential politics is still front and center. There continues to be shootings in Chicago. And the liberal agenda of political correctness continues to move forward. I haven’t missed much.
Instead we have returned new. We enjoyed a renewal of our relationship. We experienced a revival of spirit. A physical refreshment. And an emotional rejuvenation.
However, we don’t have to take a Princess cruise to experience these feelings on a regular basis. They are the result of husbands and wives paying attention to one another. Meeting each others needs. Unplugging from media. Enjoying quality time together. And communicating thoughts, feelings, and concerns. This newness occurs when we really plug into the Biblical commands given to husbands and wives to keep their relationship alive (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:7; Col. 3:18-19; Prov 5:15-19; 1 Cor. 7:1-5).
Furthermore, the Bible speaks of another kind of newness. When one becomes a Christian and is born again he is said to be a new creature or new creation in Christ. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
Christianity creates a new person. The old self with its carnal desires, selfish goals, and ungodly pursuits is put to death. We are changed. Renewed. Revived. Restored. We put on a new self, created in righteousness, holiness and godliness (Col. 3:8-10)
We are guided by a new commandment. Jesus said the badge of discipleship to identify his followers would be love. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).
If you have fallen back into the old habits of sin, you can be new again. When a Christian returns to the Lord, he finds forgiveness and receives restoration. When our spiritual lives grow stale and we fall into a religious rut we can experience daily renewal in the Word, weekly revival when we worship and regular reinforcement by engaging in fellowship with other Believers.
As we daily seek to put on the new man created in true righteousness and holiness, we eagerly await something better than a Princess cruise. A new body. Immortal. Invincible. And eternal. (1Cor. 15:35-58) And a new home, prepared by God, void of sin, sorrow, and suffering (Rev. 21:1-4)
Now that really is going home new again.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman