New year, new start

A Simple Message

“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Matthew 26:28

As the holidays come to a close, we leave the former year behind us, staring forward into a new year with myriad emotions.

Undoubtedly, fear and anxiety are among the feelings we experience as we look ahead. The uncertainty of the global pandemic, social unrest, and the ever-changing economic environment give the imagination ample room to conjure up worrisome thoughts. Likewise, we may find ourselves looking back upon the year passed with regrets, losses, and shame of failure fresh in our minds.

When thinking of the multitude of emotions the cusp of a new year can bring, it becomes very apparent why we observe Christmas so close to the turning of the year. With Christmas we are reminded that Christ came to offer humanity a gift.

With the New Year we are reminded of what that gift entails: a new beginning. Christ said that His gift is the gift of a new covenant, a gift where old things would pass away, and all things would be made new. A gift given freely to as many as will accept it. As the year rolls forward, we can do nothing to change anything that happened in the past year, nor can we hope to know exactly what we’ll face in this year to come.

What we do know is that whatever 2021 brought has gone now, and we have no choice but to face what 2022 brings. We have the blessed assurance of knowing that this year can be a new start for us. We can stride forward into the New Year as new people, with new love for God and each other, and new determination to be our best selves in spite of past failures or future oppositions. The turning of the year can certainly be a time of fear and uncertainty, but with Christ we can choose to see the gift of a New Year and a new start.