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New Snow and a New Year

Noelle Kirchner
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Rev. Noelle Kirchner, MDiv., believes we don’t have to live with full schedules and thin souls. A busy mom of three boys, she is passionate about making faith fresh and relevant. Noelle is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served in churches for over ten years. She has written for places like the TODAY Show Parenting Team, Huff Post Parents, The Laundry Moms, and (in)courage. Her faith and family cable television show, Chaos to Calm, features parenting hot topics and has hosted two New York Times bestselling authors. Watch her episodes or sermons, connect with her on social media, and follow her blog by visiting her website, or receive her free devotional e-book.

It's a snow day today as I write.  I had to take a deep sigh and release the appointments and plans I had made this morning.  My children were home and excited to get outside.  No school today meant an opportunity, and I'm glad I took advantage of it.  We went sledding, threw snow balls, made snow angels, and ended the morning with hot cocoa.  I remember my Mom making it for me on cold winter days.  It's incredible to think I'm providing my children with the same memories with every stir of their hot drinks.

Looking around at the newly fallen snow got me thinking.  Everything changes with it on the ground.  Not only do schedules sometimes change, but have you ever noticed how much quieter the world gets under a blanket of snow?  It's almost as if God is beckoning us to slow down and pay attention. 

The snow makes everything glisten.  Even though it's covered in only white, it's far from monotonous.  In fact, I love how Christmas lights burn brighter on green bushes under the snowflakes.  The same scenery somehow takes on a totally different appearance.  There is a purity to newly fallen snow on a field without footprints.  There is a playfulness to the fluff as it collects on wispy branches.  And there is the wintry reminder that it's a special time of year.

In winter we celebrate the hope of Christmas and the New Year.  The New Year in particular offers a calendar reminder of new beginnings.  There is power in new beginnings, as symbolized by the making of New Year's resolutions.  We seek to take advantage of the opportunity it brings.

As Christians, we know about new beginnings too.  A new beginning is offered when we pledge our lives to Christ and become his disciples.  One is offered every time we pray for forgiveness.  In truth, our souls become as clean as newly fallen snow through the power of the cross.  For Isaiah 1:18 reads, "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...'"

As much as the calendar serves as a reminder, a true new beginning is only offered through the cross.  [Tweet that.]  Only Christ can make our hearts as light and free as children dancing in the snowflakes.  Only God can love our souls enough to clean them with his own son's blood so they are as white as snow.  Only the Holy Spirit can allow us to harness that power as we go forth into our lives as new creations.

Is there something stirring in you as you read this?  Allow the New Year to remind you of what we have in Christ.  New beginnings are always possible through him.  Whether you are struggling with relationship trouble, becoming free of an addiction, or stuck in a demoralizing rut, Christ is offering his hand.  Let's not just read the promises of scripture, but let's make it our New Year's resolution to write them across our hearts and live them.  [Tweet that.]  Join me as we attempt to drink in God's overwhelming grace in a fantastic and freeing 2014!

{Photo by Muffet at Flickr}

If you would like to read an excellent prayer about the power of the cross, click here.

Rev. Noelle Kirchner, MDiv., believes we don’t have to live with full schedules and thin souls. A busy mom of three boys, she is passionate about making faith fresh and relevant. Noelle is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served in churches for over ten years. She has written for places like the TODAY Show Parenting Team, Huff Post Parents, The Laundry Moms, and (in)courage. Her faith and family cable television show, Chaos to Calm, features parenting hot topics and has hosted two New York Times bestselling authors. Watch her episodes or sermons, connect with her on social media, and follow her blog by visiting her website, or receive her free devotional e-book.

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About Noelle Kirchner

Rev. Noelle Kirchner, MDiv., believes we don’t have to live with full schedules and thin souls. A busy mom of three boys, she is passionate about making faith fresh and relevant. Noelle is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served in churches for over ten years. She has written for places like the TODAY Show Parenting Team, Huff Post Parents, The Laundry Moms, and (in)courage. Her faith and family cable television show, Chaos to Calm, features parenting hot topics and has hosted two New York Times bestselling authors. Watch her episodes or sermons, connect with her on social media, and follow her blog by visiting her website, or receive her free devotional e-book.