Finish Thy New Creation

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

It is obvious to us. Hardly a week passes that we aren’t reminded of death. If you have not done so, you need to think about, plan and talk to your family about your funeral. Jerry and I have been doing that, meeting with a funeral home and talking to our children. 

We have decided on some of the content of our funeral worship services. I am requesting that Charles Wesley’s, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, be one of the hymns sung. The final stanza expresses my prayer for my life with God now and in eternity. 

Finish, then, thy new creation; 
pure and spotless let us be. 
Let us see thy great salvation 
perfectly restored in thee. 
Changed from glory into glory, 
till in heav’n we take our place, 
till we cast our crowns before thee, 
lost in wonder, love and praise. 

During this Easter season we need to spend time thinking about the resurrection and eternal life. Paul gave powerful witness to it. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer lives, Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) To be a Christian is to change. It is to become new. It is not simply a matter of choosing a new lifestyle, though there is a new style. It has to do with being a new person. The new person does not emerge full-blown. Conversion, passing from death to life, may be the miracle of a moment, but being Christ’s new person is the task of a lifetime. 

We who are a part of the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition talk about this in terms of going on to salvation. The fullness of salvation comes in the resurrection as our new life continues with the Father. Read again the stanza from my “funeral hymn;” you may want to make that your prayer as I have made it mine.

Happy Easter!

-Maxie Dunnam