New Year, Old Gospel
We are inveterate page, leaf, corner turners. We mark our every ending, note every new beginning. Our time marking, however, usually fails to live up to the hype. January 1 is usually rather much like December 31. Perhaps more to the point, January 1 this year is much like January 1 last year. What we want in our lives is neither a series of random and unique events, nor the flattened monotony of the same old same old. Instead we want the temporal equivalent of a favorite, worn sweater with a bold and dashing new tie. Everything old is old still, everything new is new still.
Today is something far more exciting than a new year—it’s a new day. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118: 24). The beauty of the day is not that it is new, but that we are being made new. The glory of the day is not that it marks a change, but that we are being changed. The blessing of the day is not that it is a day off, but that it is His day.
The glory of the day is not that it marks a change, but that we are being changed
Do we spit shine our “holi-days” because we have lost the sparkle of the gospel? If the gospel is merely that our sins are forgiven, that should be enough to drive us to fireworks, champagne, and kisses at midnight. If, however, that was all the gospel gave us, having rejoiced in our forgiveness, what more would we have to do, but wait? If the gospel merely makes our eternity secure, it makes our right now irrelevant.
The gospel, however, is not just that our sins are forgiven, but that we are being cleansed of all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). The gospel is not just that He was raised from the dead, but raised to a throne. He is even now, in this, the year of our Lord, bringing all things under subjection. He is even now washing us, His wayward, spotted bride, moving us closer to that day when we will be without blot or blemish.
The new year before us is in one sense a mystery. We cannot predict what stories will be in the headlines. We can’t be certain of our own plans. Victories and tragedies lie before us. But they are yet still wrapped up, waiting for a new day to unfold. What we can know, however, is that in this year, as in the past year, Jesus will love us faithfully. He will be about the greatest story ever told—remaking us into His image. We do not as the new year turns move from a tired old Father Time to a new born babe. Instead the one born a babe in a manger tirelessly goes before us, blazing a trail to the new heavens and the new earth. He was there at the beginning. He is taking us to the end. And lo, He is with us always, even to the end of days. Resolve to give thanks, and to remember.