Well, it is officially that time of year, back-to-school time. Heading into a new school year always meant the ability for a fresh start for me. It was a time of excitement as I had new teachers, new subjects, and a new chance at good grades. Some years the anticipation of better grades was fulfilled, and sometimes it wasn’t. However, now that I no longer face that specific back-to- school date on the calendar, I look for my fresh start elsewhere.
Throughout the New Testament, more specifically the Gospels, we notice that a fresh start is not tied to a specific date on a calendar, but rather a person. There are many examples of times when people have encountered Jesus Christ and respond with a fresh start as a result. For example, in Mark 5:25-34, a woman who was unclean and therefore shunned by society for many years, had her life flipped and was given a fresh start by Jesus. By touching Jesus’ clothes, she was acknowledged by Him. He responded, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” With the word daughter, Jesus gave her value that society had not, and she was healed. Her life was flipped and thus given a fresh start.
In Luke 8:2, we see another person with a fresh start named Mary. In this passage, it is mentioned that she once had seven demons cast out from her. Her fresh start culminated in being the first person to see Jesus raised again after His death (John 20:10-18). When people encounter Jesus, their lives are given a fresh start. Whether they were demon possessed, unclean, blind, or paralyzed, encountering Jesus just once gave them a fresh start.
So although some of us don’t have that specific back-to-school date on our calendar indicating an opportunity for a fresh start, we all do have one thing in common. We have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Every day I wake up, I am thankful that I have the chance to encounter Jesus and begin the day with a fresh start.
By Travis Albers, Sully First Reformed Church Youth and Education Director