The New Year is a solemn time. So solemn, in fact, that I don’t mind telling you that, for me at least, it is a time of deep reflection. It is a time in which I look to the past, its successes and failures, and then to the future with all of its possibilities – both good and bad.
We all do that to some extent, don’t we? On New Year's Eve, many of us reflect upon those things past and how some of them may have changed our lives forever. We remember the people, the joys, the fears, the tragedies, the triumphs, and finally, the tears over circumstances of a year gone by.
The New Year, then, seems to have become a national day of reflection - a time in which men and women, at least the ones I know, simultaneously remember the past while seeking a fresh start to the coming New Year. We hope for a clean slate and a fresh start - the kind so succinctly communicated to us by an elementary school teacher in the following poem.
“He came to my desk with a quivering lip, the lesson was done.
‘Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher? I’ve spoiled this one.’
I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted
And gave him a new one all unspotted.
And into his tired heart I cried,
‘Do better now, my child.’
I went to the throne with a trembling heart,
The day was done.
‘Have you a new day for me, dear Master?
I’ve spoiled this one.’
He took my day, all soiled and blotted
And gave me a new one all unspotted.
And into my tired heart he cried,
‘Do better now, my child.’” (Can Man Live Without God,173)
I don’t like to quote such lengthy portions in a column, but the possibility of hope, forgiveness, and renewal is there for the most "soiled and blotted" of us. In fact, Christ alone specializes in such. He alone can take those whose lives have been soiled by sin and change them at the heart level. As our sin bearer, He bore the wrath of God in our stead and it is upon that basis, and that basis alone, that one’s sins can be forgiven.
Begin anew with a life “all unspotted” by placing your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ Today. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).