It always feels silly recognizing Ground Hog’s Day (GHD) in WNY. What I mean by that is not that it is silly that an animal’s experience of his shadow can somehow predict the coming of Spring, but instead that whether or not the ground hog sees his shadow at all it will have a bearing on WNY. An animal predicting weather I can almost believe, but spring in WNY at the beginning of February or the middle of March each seems equally unbelievable.
Of course these days we not only conjure up images of ground hogs in top hats at the mention of GHD, but also of Bill Murray reliving the day again and again. When we have our own experience of redundancy or deja vu we may even catch ourselves thinking, What is this Ground Hog’s Day?
Well, we are not trapped in Bill Murray’s fantastic world, but that does not mean we do not continue to see history repeating itself. And this is something we should know by now. After all the author of Ecclesiastes wrote,
“what has been is what will be.
And what has been done is what will be done;
There is nothing new under the sun.”
History repeats itself. For Martin Luther, the reason history had an uncanny ability to keep repeating was because of the main characters: people. People in every time and place share something in common and so we watch as familiar story continues to unfold.
The economy recycles recessions.
Nations continue to wage familiar wars.
Parents secretly hope their children’s children give them similar treatment. They almost always do.
Bell bottoms and scrunchies even have a way of repeating themselves, and it is only a matter of time before shoulder pads return.
“What has been is what will be. What has been done is what will be done. There is nothing new…
Under. The. Sun.”
But the good news for a Ground Hog Day people is that while we remain in bondage to our sin and our cycles, there is one who is capable to breaking through with something new. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We may never know what finally freed Mr. Murray, but our newness and freedom is in Christ.
Under the sun, on this earth, amongst people, we are destined to watch history repeat itself. But high above, God has already worked out a plan for our deliverance.
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