Solomon, reflecting on a life lived in pursuit of wisdom, and squandered in the vain chasing of fleshly pleasure wrote in Ecclesiastes that there “Is nothing new under the sun.” There is no sin, or vice that is new. No hurt that one human can inflect upon another that hasn’t been done before. The aging king writes this in repentance for a life that was mostly wasted in running away from God and His Word.
This serves as a good remainder for us this Advent. No matter what sin we may have committed, what hurt we may have inflicted on another, or what sorrow we have endured at the hands of others, what hurts others have given us, it is not new, therefore God knows all about it. In knowing this then, we come with confidence to our knees in repentance. This confidence comes from Jesus, whose Word clearly promises full forgiveness and life for all who come to Him, for all who wait for His gifts and coming. Nothing you have done can keep you from the forgiving love of Christ Jesus our Savior.
As there is nothing new under the sun, then we can expect there to be signs of the change in seasons. This is certainly true when it comes to the seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall. Each is marked by clear signs that a change has come in the weather, and to nature.
The same is true of the change coming on the earth as we near the end of all things. To the world, the signs are of dread. Climate change alarmists spread fear and doubt in proclaiming that the end is near. If the earth dies, then we have no hope – all the while forgetting or ignoring that He who made the heavens and the earth with His word controls even the wind and waves. Even more absurd was what some politicians in Washington DC said about a tax bill. A tax reform bill would bring about the end, doom and gloom.
For we who are baptized into the mighty name of God, these signs of the end are not doom and gloom. Rather, they are signs of the coming consummation, as a hymn writer puts it, of life forever in the new heavens and the new earth. Therefore, Jesus urges us to pay attention to these sign, for they mark He is near. They encourage us to finish the race with faith and hope.