A New Soul
It was an eye-catching newspaper ad which prompted a double take on my part: “A brand new Soul for only $139 per month.” Of course the full page ad was for a particular make of automobile. But the double meaning did not escape me.
Do you know anyone with a secret (or very open) New Year’s wish for a “brand new soul?” What if we could trade in our old “soul” for a new one just this one time—near the beginning of 2013? I think I know a few people who might like that opportunity. Cast aside the old, tarnished, seemingly decrepit soul for one that is bright, shiny new—without spot or blemish—to care for and nurture for the rest of your life.
So many might like the opportunity to start afresh with the faith journey. Block out the many personal failings, the endless debate about 2nd Amendment rights, the indescribable sadness of Newtown, uncertain economic futures, constant health scares and uncertain health care, and so many other external events which wound and injure the soul. How about a brand new soul for only a few dollars a month?
I think I know a few people who would quickly and enthusiastically welcome a brand new soul. Perhaps in the throes of a marriage crisis? Perhaps wrestling with uncertain sexual identity? Perhaps on the edge of a mortgage foreclosure crisis? Perhaps with a son or daughter in extended estrangement? Perhaps ensnared in some addictive substance or behavior. Perhaps burdened by multiple crises that simply seem too heavy to carry?
Or, how about being made new by a God of amazing grace for free?
Perhaps needing to hear the refreshing, renewing words, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Perhaps needing to know with Paul the “peace that passes all understanding.” Perhaps needing to hear a clear and consistent word from God, “I will not fail you or forsake you.”
Persons in our churches and outside our churches. Persons who have heard our Faith Story and persons who have little or no memory of that story. Persons for whom “good news” only seems a rare euphemism at times.
The soul is not for sale. Not a lease. No returns due to some defect. No exchanges. Only great care and nurture for the duration of life. A precious gift from One who loves us and stands by us unconditionally. We are invited to lean into the One who “makes all things new” all the time.
What does it mean to lead in this unique awareness? What does it mean to proclaim this great promise?