HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to 2013. I wonder what the year 2013 will bring? What changes we will see? Maybe there are certain changes you’ve already committed to? Of course, New Year is normally the time for New Year resolutions. Apparently the top ten New Year resolutions are:
- Spend more time with friends and family.
- Get fit.
- Lose weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Enjoy life more.
- Quit drinking.
- Get out of debt.
- Learn something new.
- Help others.
- Be more organized.
I must admit that one or two things on this list look worryingly familiar! New Year then is a time for fresh starts. A time to make a turn in the road. To stop the old way and begin a new one.
Unfortunately, by the end of January many of these good intentions have already fallen by the wayside. The new gym membership card is gathering dust in the corner. The healthy diet food remains in the cupboard, while the chocolates seem to keep sneaking their way into your mouth! And the business of life has once again led to less time with family and friends. In fact, according the the Mail (so feel free to take the fact with a very large pinch of salt), the average New Years resolution lasts just 6 days! That’s all! Not even a week!
But, there’s good news. Christianity is all about new starts, new beginnings. The Bible tells us that when a person gives their life to Christ, they get a whole new lease on life: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” As we come to Jesus we can know that we can leave the old habits and behaviours behind us and look forward to fresh opportunities and experiences: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”
More than this, while your New Year’s resolutions may fall by the wayside, not to return for another 12 months, God’s forgiveness, and restoration is always available. God will always forgive, because that is his nature (e.g. Psalm 103:8-12). Christians call this Grace, God’s nature to always welcome back, forgive and love his children. To quote Mumford and Sons:
It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works.
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive with the restart.
The return to God will always be greeted by Him with open arms. He is always more willing to forgive us than we are to say sorry.
I wish you all the very best for 2013, but remember that the 1st January is not our only chance for a fresh start … with God, everyday can be New Years day.
God bless you all throughout 2013!