Happy New Year!

When it comes to holidays, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are among my favorites.  No, they don’t trump Christmas and Easter.  But I’m pretty sure they beat out Thanksgiving and the 4th of July in my book.  And they definitely are ahead of Halloween and Valentine’s Day!

I like the thought of a fresh start.  I like new beginnings.  I love setting goals, dreaming about the future and wondering what the coming year will hold.  I love looking back at the last year and thinking thoughts like, “Wow, this time last year Jack hadn’t even been born.”  It’s a fantastic time of year for thinking, dreaming and celebrating God’s goodness.

It’s also a wonderful reminder of the gospel’s appeal.  I’m not alone in my desire for fresh starts, clean slates and new beginnings.  There’s something wired into each of us that connects with that desire.  And that’s exactly what God offers each of us through the gospel.  Paul says it this way in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”  That’s the ultimate fresh start.  It’s the cleanest of slates and the newest of beginnings.  And it’s available to each of us.

My prayer for you this year is either that you find this new life if you never have before or that you live fully in it’s joy if you are indeed a new creation.  The joy and freshness of New Years Day fades quickly.  My guess is most of us will be done with it by next Monday at the latest.  But the joy and freshness of the gospel never fades and never grows stale.  Enjoy it!

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