By the time this appears on the GCI website, life will have returned to ‘normal.’
The new year will seem pretty much an extension of the old, with all the same problems, only growing more intense. Wars rage from family squabbles (even amongst royalty) to full scale warfare such as between Russia and the Ukraine. There are food shortages, pandemics weather upsets and migrant miseries. “Happy New Year” can sound a bit hollow sometimes.
But there is another way to look at this. In 2023 have I still got my five senses? Can I walk, talk, smell, touch taste and see? Do I have another day/year to serve God and other people? Do I have food, clothes and shelter, friends and family?
Jesus often spoke of new things.
He spoke about giving us a new name in his Kingdom, about singing a new song, a new covenant which is better than the old, a new heaven and a new earth. Yet Jesus’ own life on earth was anything but easy. He got tired, hungry and even a little irritated with his disciples when they didn’t understand what should have been clear to them. At the end of this road he knew he faced a cruel painful death. However, Luke’s gospel tells us about an occasion prior to the crucifixion: “At that time Jesus, full of the joy of the Holy spirit, said ‘I praise you Father , Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this was your good pleasure.’ (Luke 10:21).
As Christians, though we may be rightly thankful for our blessings, we often feel out of sync with the world. That’s because we’re looking for a new, heaven and a new earth, not just a new year.