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“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  -Rev. 21:5

Will God do something new at Synod 2024?

With about 27 days left until synod begins, this is the 64 million dollar question. What’s going to happen at Calvin University just weeks from now? 

The Christian Reformed Church is 167 years old. Is God still doing something new in the CRC? How do we feel about new things? Does this word, new, contradict how we feel about God? Don’t we want an old God? The God of our fathers? The Ancient of Days? 

The Bible narrative continually points forward. In scripture God is always doing something ‘new’. The OT prophets point to a God who is working toward a new thing. Jesus ushers in new ways of living, walking, and loving. The early church learned hard lessons about change, leaving behind former laws and religious privilege to accept new believers, new guidelines, a new gospel. 

What does new mean for us today? As a denomination, we have a rich history of learning and serving. We’ve studied long and hard. We have put good words to deep thoughts. After all these years, don’t we want a God who can fit into the intellectual legacy of what we have learned and understand? Honestly, don’t we desire a God we can (somewhat) control with our prayers?...a God we can contain in a catechism? …describe in a doctrine? 

We fear what we do not understand. We don’t understand ‘new’. We can’t see around the bend of this new road of faith God has called us to travel. So we try to control and hold on to what we understand.  

Now, obviously, we know that God is bigger than our understanding. Who can know God’s mind? Still we strive and study and pursue knowledge of the unknowable God. Something compels us to grasp for understanding. 

Maybe we need to look through a wider lens in our quest for knowledge and ask sincere, honest questions. Can the church today live with a Love that is beyond our comprehension? …with Grace so generous that it is new every day? …with a Power that cannot be contained by our theology? 

Synod 2024…

The God of the universe is making all things new

Will we live with the humility that allows us to admit that this Creator who exists beyond the barriers of time and space is far above our creeds, our confessions, our catechisms? Can we lay down phrases like, “God’s truth demands we…” “The church’s historical position proves…”

The God of the CRC is making all things new.

Will we live in harmony with each other and with our past, present, and future?  Will we find that the goodness of God expresses itself in an unboundedness that bursts the limits of our church buildings, our liturgies, our classrooms, our council rooms, our classis, and our synod?

The God of the poor, homeless, rejected, and lost is making all things new. 

Will we ask for fresh eyes to see the highest and holy God stoop low to the earth as the Divine looks into the heart and soul of the lowly? Can we refocus our eyes to see the reflection of the Divine in the wounded, the powerless, the rejected person(s)? Will our eyes see each soul as worthy of compassion and respect? 

Will God do something new at Synod 2024? 

Oh, I hope so! 

The God of the ages is making all things new.

Prayer: Expand our vision, Lord. May we be open to gleaning new truths from old stories. You, Lord God, stoop down to look on the heavens and the earth (Psalm 113). You are the God who gets on your knees, as it were, to look into the eyes of a child (Matt. 18). You are the God who sees our tears and collects them in a bottle (Psalm 56). You are the God who holds us close to your heart as a mother holds her child (Psalm 131). Jesus, you are the One who touches the unclean, eats and drinks with rowdy partiers, prostitutes, and outsiders. You walk among us and carry on conversations with questionable women and greedy men. You are a Savior who goes to the ‘mat’ for humble, needy, hungry, guilty humans. You are the victorious King who is gathering your own from every corner of the earth.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bring new insights from old truths that move us forward to live deeply, to love fully, and serve wholeheartedly in your kingdom. To You alone be the glory forever, Amen. 

Pray for Synod 2024. Find resources and ways to participate at




Thank you for this post. It is good to hear the reminder that too often we who study God's Word can slip into the sinful tendency to put God in our own boxes. 

However, I think you've gone too far here. God cannot be contained in a doctrine, catechism, or creed - very true. Yet God has elected to communicate to us truths about himself through the teaching (the doctrine) of the Scriptures which I believe (and all the office bearers of the CRC are required to believe) are adequately summarized in our church's doctrinal standards.

We all want God to do something new, but the something new being spoken of in Revelation 21 refers quite clearly to the recreation of heaven and earth, the final defeat of death's hold over the human race, and the forgiveness of sins (obviously observed by the Apostle John's quotation of Isaiah 55 in verse 6). We can all pray, "Come, Lord Jesus!" 

Likewise, the grave warning of Revelation 21:8 must be reflected on adequately. We are all guilty, on some level, of sins of cowardice, faithlessness, sexual immorality, and idolatry. What differentiates those who will inherit the promises of God and those who will suffer in the second death is this: "To the thirsty I will give from the springs of the water of life without payment” (Rev. 21:6, ESV). Here’s the thing, God grants forgiveness to those who are thirsty; to those who are repentant; to those who know they’re lost in a desert and are dying of thirst. Jesus told us to repent and believe. The way sinners come to be righteous before God is by trusting in Jesus Christ and leaving our lives of sin to trust and follow him. Anything else will not do. 

That is the gospel. That is the message our denomination is tasked with heralding and our Synod is tasked with defending against those who would pervert grace into a license for sin. Sin kills every soul it enters from the wounded, the powerless, and the rejected to the healthy, the powerful, and the accepted. The only one who can change that is Christ, and the only way we know him is through this gospel. The gospel isn’t new, and neither is it old. It is universal; and we need it now as ever.

Grace and Peace,


Thanks, Corey, I'm not a theologian, but I love the CRC and it's rich history. I just pray that God will do something new this year (and I have no idea what that is) to bless us all as we keep working together for the kingdom. 

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