by Esther Griggs

The world is ablaze with the hope of a New Year. The old is gone and the new is come. Everyone has their blank page, ahead, fresh and clean with hopes of doing it better. They have their diet plans and exercise programs set in place with goals and determination to last at least a month or so.

I struggle to envision my grand words about the New Year on a page that will compete with all the others out there, and come to the realization that there is something much deeper here than at first glance.

What are we looking for? Does the New Year really have the power we hope it will have? Can it really give us a clean slate and some power to change us?

The New Year has its limitations. It is bound in time. It’s power to wipe out the past or provide a new beginning is only in the mind of the individual. It doesn’t change anything. The evidence is in our very selves.

There is a place, not bound in time, not bound by our limitations where all things become new. It is the cross of Jesus Christ.

The cross of Jesus happened in history but its effects are beyond time and space. In the cross, an old religious system of rules upon rules, feasts and festivals, offerings and sacrifices ended. Instead a relationship with the living God is offered to us, a relationship of love and worship. It happens in our moments of looking to Him rather than once a year.

All the imperfections and mistakes of last year are never wiped out because the calendar changed a page. They are wiped out because Jesus offered His life as the payment for all of our offences. It is clean and fresh moment by moment as we live in Him. His Word tells us “He makes all things new”.

The hope of doing it better is just that: a vain, and empty hope reliant on our own powerless selves. In the cross lies the power for change. We find in the cross of Christ that we are “a new creation; old things have passed away; and all things have become new”. The curse is broken and we are free to live a life abundantly in Jesus.

Yes, like everyone else, I think about the New Year and all that it could mean, but it it is just that. I have accepted the cross of Jesus Christ as my beginning as it will be my end. I accept the work that Jesus did there; forgiving my sin and making me a new creation. I accept it as my means to an all powerful God who communicates to me through His Spirit which lives in me changing me into His Image. I can rest on His love for me and His work in me in those places I am powerless to change. With a humble heart, I rest in His eternal work, and not on the flip of a calendar.

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