I've been thinking about new life, and my mind turns to Shrek. Remember that movie, the first one? The lovely princess Fiona was cursed to take on the lugubrious form of a great green ogre until set free by true love's kiss. When that kiss is finally delivered (by the great green ogre, Shrek), Fiona is confused to discover that she remains, still, an ogre. I reckon a lot of us are just like princess Fiona. We encounter the amazing love of the Lord Jesus, we receive the promised new life, and are surprised and confused to discover that we remain, well, ogres. We expected that God would work some magic and change us, but we remain, apparently, the same.
But if we've been paying attention to the movie, we know that Fiona's life truly has changed; she's been offered a love that completely turns her life around. Her life is different not so much because she is changed, but because she is truly loved just as she is. And that's what it's like for us. We do become a 'new creation' in Christ, but not because we magically become some completely different creature. Our lives are made new because we are truly loved. It is in receiving and responding to God's love in Christ that we take on our truest shape as His beloved children.
If we spend all our lives chasing after some sudden transformation we will inevitably be disappointed. If we instead allow his love to work in us; to reorient our priorities and renew our hope, then we truly will experience new life in Christ.
Story by Roger.
Roger serves in East Asia with his wife Carolyn and two of his children.