Here we stand at the start of a new year, its days and months waiting to unfold like petals on an amaryllis.
When I slow and savor each moment of unfolding beauty, I discover all over again that beauty is there in each day, just waiting to be found.
It’s there in the sunny days, and in the rainy ones. In the weeks when the do-list feels overwhelming, and the ones when I’m able to accomplish what needs to be done.
Beauty is there, always there, because the Beautiful One is walking into this year ahead of us, leaving a trail of beauty in his wake.
He is walking into this year with us, being beauty in our days.
He makes his home in us, shining his own beauty through us.
And he comes behind us too, shaping the shards of broken days into the finest of beauty as he continues to delight in the fine art of creating glory out of chaos.
This, this is what I need to know as we enter this new year:
The One who spoke the first flowers into being still speaks beauty into our days.
The One who bent and shaped the first human form from clay still bends low to hold us and mold us with the skill of an artist and the tenderness of a mother.
The One who breathed his life into that first of his sons still breathes his Spirit, his peace, his joy into his children as we walk each day with him.
I’ve been lingering, the past couple of days, with the first few verses of Isaiah 43:
“But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel: . . .”
I pause there, just three lines in, before moving on to the following verses with their reassurance of God’s presence, his naming, redeeming, and protection. There’s so much gift already in these first three lines. Do you hear it?
The Supreme Artist, the One whose every work is shot through with light, intricately woven into the finest beauty—this is the One who wove us together in our mother’s womb and is still shaping us into the image of Christ.
Each of his works—you! me!—unique, intricate. Beloved.
Can you picture it? Jesus, the One through whom everything was made, the one who wove each tendon, each neuron into the beautiful art that is you, sitting on the edge of your bed, looking into your eyes, and speaking to you at the start of this year?
Listen, now, this is what I say—I who created you, (and he names you),
I who formed you, (does he have a special nickname for you too?):
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
We’re already his poiema, his masterpiece, delighted in and cherished. And we’re still being formed, each moment and each day, by this finest of artists who has promised to walk each day with us and to keep working in us until his beauty is made complete in us.
Here’s to a year of turning again and again to see Jesus’ face, to hear his voice, to open to the touch of his hands shaping us to be more like the One whose children we are.
Here’s to a year of learning to trust more deeply this One who has made us and is still making us, shaping us through each of our moments and days into his beauty.
Here’s to the One who has made us and, in Christ, made us forever His.