Some sins haunt Christians. They are old sinful patterns: Lust, bitterness, anger, harsh words; they are like old friends. And sinful people fall back into those patterns, those ruts without any effort. There is a kind of comfort, a kind of predictability in old sin. You’ve done it a hundred times before, you’ve said those words a thousand times before, you’ve had that argument and those thoughts many times before. And there’s a certain sick delight found in doing, saying, thinking evil if only for a few moments because, well, it feels like old times; it’s familiar, safe, and predictable. She’ll say that and I’ll say this, we’ll storm out and then in about forty five minutes we’ll make up. It’s just the way we do things, you say. But your way of doing things is an affront to the God of grace. Your old ways, your familiar ways, your old sinful patterns are not to be seen as old friends but fierce enemies. God was not manifest in this world as an old man stuck in his ways. He was not manifest in this world as the good old days, as predictability, or familiarity. God was manifest as a child. He was revealed to the world as new life, as a new beginning, a fresh start, a brand new history. You serve the eternal God, the Ancient of Days, who was revealed and manifested as a baby. Therefore put to death the deeds of the flesh. Utterly repudiate your old ways, put away your lust, put away your anger, and let go of that bitterness. Put it all down now. If the Ancient of Days can become young, then you can teach old dogs new tricks. You are coming into the presence of the God of the universe, the God who was revealed and was manifest as a child. And if the incarnation is the youthfulness of God, then you are all called to become like your God. Put away your old ways for they are growing old and dying; put on newness of life, put on youthful vigor, righteousness, peace, love, and joy. We, with the wise men of the East, worship God as a Child on this Epiphany Sunday. Therefore learn this wisdom.
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