All Things New!

statue of the holy family

This weekend is the start of a New Year and the first Sunday is also a celebration of the motherhood of Mary as we honour the virgin who physically nurtured a new child, the Godhead, in her womb.  How mind-stretching is that!

All newness in life can help us know that God is present, that He is active.  God announces in Isaiah 43: 18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing.”   Again in Revelation 21:5  “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Jesus was born to make all things new!  It is up to us to choose to be with Him to experience this newness – but how might this New Year be different because of a new way of living our life in Christ?  William Barclay, author of Biblical commentary, suggests three ways of making our New Year more meaningful by considering  Something to dream, Something to do and Someone to love.

“I have a dream” said Martin Luther King and he put his whole heart into that dream.  Mindful of the proverb  “Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows, but live your today” , perhaps we should all have a noble plan of action (dream a noble dream) for every day in the New Year.  We must not become barren fig trees, nor barren branches in God’s vineyard!  We must try to engage, do good for others and love the people we encounter in daily life, for they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  This becomes easier when we make God the centre of our life and realise His presence in all the people around us.  Just as the moon reflects the sun’s rays to light up the earth at night, we must ourselves reflect the Light of God shining within us.  We pray to our newly born Jesus and ask His Virgin Mother to intercede for us:

“Lord, give me a pure heart that I may see You, a humble heart that I may hear You, a heart of love that I may serve You and a heart of Faith that I may abide in You every day of this New Year.”

Most of us are afraid of the unknown.  We don’t know what this year is going to bring but we learn from our past experiences and so step into the New Year with “Newness.”   We had a hard year due to the pandemic, yet we have learnt many lessons for our lives from such a year. Whatever we may yet face, we ask God to build “Newness” into our lives to give us hope and strength to press on.  He has also given us talents and abilities to open the door to future success, joy and peace if only we use them wisely.  Our role is to engage our circumstances with those talents – trusting God for His grace, favour, and strength – and then be persistent in pursuing our dream, our goal and our plan.

What the New Year brings to us will depend a great deal on what we bring to the New Year.

To some extent, the future is ours to write.

A spiritual resolution for the New Year: We might resolve to start every morning with a short prayer: “Good morning, Lord. Thank You for extending my life for one more day. Please grant me a special anointing of Your Holy Spirit so that I may do Your holy will today and avoid everything evil.”

Besides the family prayer and Bible reading, we might also resolve to say a short prayer every evening, the last thing we do before we go to sleep: “Thank You Lord for helping me to do Your will today. Forgive me, Lord, for saying ‘no’ to Your grace several times today.  I am really sorry for all my sins of the day.  Please pardon me.”

And, as we close our eyes, we might say: “Good night Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.”