As 2019 comes to a close, I’m thinking about cycles. Not the kind you ride, although I could make a case for them fitting into this theme. Cycles are phases that come full circle. They are revolving eras or a succession of expected markers in time. They are patterns. Cycles may be repeating events. They seem to spiral on forever, since they are not exactly from the same starting place.
When you look at the whole Bible, cycles become obvious. The way God instructed the Israelites to mark time in weeks, months, and years is keeping a cycle. The way events repeat, even with some variation, shows that this is important. God is speaking through repetition.
Rote learning has fallen out of favor, but memorization is still a good way to make sure something is transferred from our short term to long term memory banks. In Deuteronomy six, God instructed Israel to say the Shema every day and repeatedly teach their children what He said. It’s a cycle.
To remember important events, we take a picture, mark it on a calendar, or write about it. In Biblical times, they made an altar or a circle of stones to mark it as a holy place. In that way, when they returned with their children, they could tell the story again and remember.
In spite of remembering, we, like ancient Israel, seem to forget. We make the same mistakes over again. But, hallelujah, we may be given another chance!
Here are some bullet points for how God is speaking to me today about this subject.
* Cycles move us forward
* Within the repetition, the residue of the familiar is still there. It’s enough for us to sometimes say, “Haven’t we done this before?”
* They prove: “This, too, shall pass.”
* They sometimes confirm, “What goes around comes around.”
* They’re when circumstances provide a second chance – or a third opportunity, or more – to get it right.
* It’s where God, by His grace, says, “Now, let’s try that again.”
I do know this. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” It’s as true as the sun rises each morning. He was. He is. He is to come.
I want to thank all of you who read my blog. I’m honored and humbled that you would take time from your busy schedule to do this.
Have a happy and blessed New Year, everyone.