As a Wellington urbanite, a now frequent image is that of old earthquake prone buildings being torn down and replaced with something new. Occasionally the building is gutted and only the old façade remains – everything else is new. Other times it isn’t even a building but a park or open space for people to enjoy. The old is gone, sometimes farewelled with sadness, and the new has taken its place. Our Self Denial theme is a reminder that in the same way the Spirit of God wants to take away the old, the parts of me that are shattered and broken, and instead create a new person, crafted in the image of Christ. Sometimes we are sad to see the old go, there are parts of it that we love, that we are familiar with, comfortable with even, but if we are to let God change us then we must say goodbye to those old ideas, habits and values. Now God can put down new foundations for us and a new person can appear. This is a great hope of the Gospel for me, that God is the God of transformation, that every situation, good or bad, carries within it the hope of something new. During this period of self-denial what might God be asking you to let go of, so that you might become more like Jesus?
Reflection written by Andrew Bollen. Andrew serves as the Chair of Mission Council and is co-pastor at Wellington Central Baptist Church.