December 31, 2012
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10
Although our devotions usually begin with a story, this one begins with a question and a quote. The question is this: when would you say these words were written?
Here's the quote: "We have fallen on evil times, and the world has grown very wicked. Governments are corrupt, and even children are no longer respectful to their parents."
Those sentences might have come from the speech of a person, who has entered the political ring, or from a modern critic, who is discontent with life. They might be part of a pastor's sermon or gleaned from a family magazine you picked up at the drugstore.
These words are translated from a clay tablet that is on display in a Turkish museum. As near as can be determined, the tablet dates from around 3,000 B.C. That would make those words 5,000 years old.
One thing they prove is that nothing changes.
Tonight, all the talk of television, newspapers, radio and pulpits is centered on stories of what will happen when the calendar changes. As our clay tablet reminds us, tomorrow's sunrise will still show successes for sin, Satan and sadness. There will be terror, tragedy and temptation.
Nothing will be new under the sun.
But there is one other thing that will remain the same.
The Triune God will still be in control. The Spirit will still be sharing the story of salvation that has come through the Savior. So that God's people might have hope for eternity -- and in 2013 -- Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Because of His earthly work that began in a Judean stable and continues today, as He intercedes for us before God's throne of justice, we have a peace the world cannot know.
Tomorrow's dawn will assure us that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature -- not even a calendar change -- shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord (see Romans 8:38-39).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there is nothing new under the sun. The world is a sinful place and will continue to be so until the judgment. Thankfully, the world also has the Savior who gave His life, so this year might be one in which God's people would know they are not alone. For this comfort I give thanks in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries