The Raising of Lazarus, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
DayBreaks for 8/01/18: The Hope of a New Beginning
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
“Yellow is not my favorite color. But now that I know the story of Vincent van Gogh, I have come to value yellow differently. This famous Dutch painter, sadly, tossed away the truth imparted him in his Christian home and sank into depression and destruction. By the grace of God, as he later began to embrace the truth again, his life took on hope, and he gave that hope color.
“The best-kept secret of van Gogh’s life is that the truth he was discovering is seen in the gradual increase of the presence of the color yellow in his paintings. Yellow evoked (for him) the hope and warmth of the truth of God’s love. In one of his depressive periods, seen in his famous The Starry Night, one finds a yellow sun and yellow swirling stars, because van Gogh thought truth was present only in nature. Tragically, the church, which stands tall in this painting and should be the house of truth, is about the only item in the painting showing no traces of yellow. But by the time he painted The Raising of Lazarus, his life was on the mend as he began to face the truth about himself. The entire picture is (blindingly) bathed in yellow. In fact, van Gogh put his own face on Lazarus to express his own hope in the Resurrection.
“Yellow tells the whole story: life can begin all over again because of the truth of God’s love. Each of us, whether with actual yellows or metaphorical yellows, can begin to paint our lives with the fresh hope of a new beginning.” – Scot McKnight, The Jesus Creed, Paraclete Press, 2004
Galen’s Thoughts: One of my very favorite verses in Scripture is in Revelation, where Jesus says, “Behold, I make all things new.” We like “new”, don’t we? Whether we’re talking about a car, a new recipe, a new friend, a new home. We like new things. In the English the word “new” is deceptive. The Greeks had 2 different words for new: chronos (new in time) and kairos (new in kind). In the Revelation passage, Jesus uses “kairos”, as if he’s saying, “I will be making everything new – like nothing you’ve seen before.” Jesus gives us new beginnings – a beginning like we’ve never had, one with a different outcome than our first “beginning.”
When will it happen and we obtain the new beginning? At two different times, actually. We receive some of it now when we accept Christ, but we receive it in full when the “new world” that Jesus makes come to pass. It’s when Matthew 25:34 (NIV) becomes a reality: Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’
Don’t miss that last phrase: “…the kingdom PREPARED FOR YOU since the creation of the world.” God’s kingdom is to be our kingdom…it has been prepared for us. We normally think of the kingdom as being God’s…but as His children, we inherit all things along with Christ.
Are you ready for the new kingdom? Are you ready for a new beginning, as Van Gogh found? Paint your world with hope and joy, for the kingdom awaits you!
Luke 12:31-32 (NLT) – He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.’”
PRAYER: How can we get our minds around what You have done for us? That You should choose to give us the kingdom that rightly belongs to You is incomprehensible. Thank you for new beginnings, for new worlds and new heavens in which righteousness, and we, will dwell! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.