It is a question that is not often asked! Someone is bound to answer, “The date for a start”! The German saying “Kommt Zeit Kommt Rat” translated as “Come Time Come Wisdom” does not always live up to its expectations! Nor do the resolutions, made on New Year’s Eve, have much chance of a life beyond January!
With the end of the holiday period and the Christmas decorations coming down there is a sense of déjà vu about the place. Its back to the future as we repeat the events of last year. The routine, the weather, the customs and the family traditions all play a part in the narrative of our lives. Repetition creates a kind of security.
As the writer to Ecclesiastes puts it:
“What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Chapter 3 verses 9 to 11).
There is in the repetitiveness a beauty, a time of flourishing, and a sense of continuity to life way beyond our present existence. We have a heartfelt desire to know it all yet God has put limitations to our finding out what the future holds.
This desire was evident recently in the exploration of space. It commenced with the US successfully sending a camera into space to photograph a lump of material which may show us what the planets were made of.
Then came the Chinese space probe which touched down on the far side of the moon this week. The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” on Friday and transmitted the first close range image of the far side of the moon.
And so we continue the pursuit of knowledge while the fighting, famines, genocides, separations and wall-building continue in chaotic fashion around the globe.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations chapter 3 verses 22 to 24).
What’s new about the New Year? It’s the same mercies that are new every day.
Jesus prayed for his people: After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (St John Chapter 17 verses 1 to 3).
Now to see the fulfilment of Jesus’s prayer in your life would make it a new New Year