Cue Sonny and Cher – It’s Groundhog Day
By Pastor Ben Pitman
Quarantined? Does it feel like the same day over and over and over again?
Cue Sonny and Cher’s “I’ve Got You Babe.” It’s 6:00am, call me Bill Murray, as I am roused to another day and it feels Groundhog Day. Are you telling me, “That is literally my life right now?”
Maybe you are not having a Groundhog Day experience right now where you feel like you are living the same day over and over again, but you have probably felt that way before; chances are, we will all feel it again at some point.
For those who are still catching up to the movie classics of the 90’s, the basic premise of Groundhog Day is that a guy who is a jerk is forced to continue to live the same day over and over until he figures out how to think about other people. Here is the question: who forced him to continue living the same day over again? On one hand, it is because he is mean and selfish, so he has to learn his lesson. When I am stuck in the same day over and over, who is to blame?
Though we are 100% to blame, God has made it his responsibility to work it all out for our good when we came into a relationship with him. Not a moment is wasted, no pain passes through his hand without built in purpose and power for today; in God’s economy no day (no matter how boring and repetitive) goes to waste. While it is true that all things just keep on repeating, and life continues in an endless circle (Ecclesiastes 1:9), it is only true until Christ.
Christ did more for us than set an example for us to follow; he changed the laws of nature. God opened up space and time and entered our world, as something new, the second Adam, Jesus came. In some way, we are all stuck in a rut, but God has offered hope. The late scientist, Stephen Hawking believed that we are entirely stuck, dancing to the tune of our DNA. If Jesus did not come, Hawking’s statement is true. While there appears to be an endless drift towards nothingness in this material world, God is Spirit, and he has offered us the only hope in Christ.
If you find yourself struggling with meaninglessness you may have bought the lie that our life is doomed to be the same thing over and again. Yet, Jeremiah introduces us to the God who makes all things new by his love and mercy. In the middle of the worst time for Israel, as they were deported to Babylon, the lament of Jeremiah rings truly, “Your mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-24). Jeremiah declared, not in ecstasy or joy, rather from the pit of anguish and despair; almost as if it were blood squeezed from a stone.
God’s will for our lives is not that we would repeat the same days over and over again; rather, like a child wakes up to a new day excited to discover the world, we can awaken to brand new mercies and brand new days.
If it is pain and hurt holding you down, remember, Christ came to give us life, so strive to find mercy for today and stop living under the lies. In a world where there is nothing new under the sun, Christ is making all things new.
Today is not Groundhog Day, but another new day where Christ is alive.