Here we are, in the no man’s land of holidays between Thanksgiving/Christmas and Easter. What’s a person to do with New Year’s Day? Make resolutions to be soon forgotten and unfulfilled…? Throw up cynical hands and not even try…? Find it all a little hackneyed and overdone…?
There’s Thanksgiving, of course, a time I love. Set apart to appreciate, to celebrate, with gratitude to God. The leaves are aflame. The weather is crisp and glorious.
And Christmas–apart from all the commercialism that tries to weasel its way in–is simply, well, startling. How inexplicably amazing and beyond the full grasp of my small brain that God would step out of Heaven and onto Earth. Immanuel. God with us.
And Easter, oh! Resurrection Sunday! I can hear the celebration of our church body and choir singing out in unison with great joy. Reverberating in my heart. The tomb is empty. Our Savior has conquered death. He is risen.
But wedged in there is New Year’s Day.
And I’d like to humbly suggest that, just perhaps, New Year’s Day might be the most holy of all.
Because while Christmas commemorates by Whom we can be reconciled, and Easter reminds us how we can cross an impossible chasm, New Year’s Day shows us the why of God’s great love.
Christmas says I have come to you. Easter says I will make a way for you. But New Year’s Day says here is what you can do with the new life I offer you.
It’s the day that proclaims that you no longer have to be captive to the things that once held you hostage. The book of last year is folded closed and put away. This is a fresh start.
It’s a free pass to begin again. An invitation. To be a better wife and mother. To spend more time in God’s word. To get healthier. Whatever your list entails. But most of all to remember that you can be a new creation.
Maybe you’re too far gone. I was. Maybe you’ve seen or done or said too much. I have. Maybe this time will be like all the others and you’ll fail again. I did.
…Maybe this is a[nother] chance to start all over. Completely.
Maybe in a fresh way. Maybe for the first time, really.
Maybe today is not just New Year’s Day, but a new day, period.