New Every Morning of 2016

In reality, what really changes when we flip our calendars from one year to the next? Life doesn’t really change. Sure, we have to get used to writing a new date- in this case we have to write “6’s” instead of “5’s”. Otherwise, there’s really nothing much new about a new year.

That said, a new year feels like a fresh start. Gym memberships go up. We attempt new routines, new habits. This is the year, we tell ourselves, that we will accomplish that great goal. We’ll lose those pounds, write that book, or make that intriguing trip.

What we long for at the start of a new year is actually what is promised and delivered in the gospel. The gospel is all about fresh starts and new beginnings. The gospel is the power for real change for the gospel is “the power of God” (Romans 1:16).

The message of new beginnings is summed up in II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” That’s a message of real newness for the believer in Jesus Christ.

I’m often comforted by these words of new beginnings in Lamentations 3:23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s mercies never come to an end. No matter how frequent our failings, God’s forgiveness and newness are offered new and fresh. God’s grace is inexhaustible. How else can we describe the fact that the second person of the Trinity took on human flesh, lived a life of perfect obedience, then suffered and died for sinners only to be raised from the dead after three days? That’s the basis for a mercy that can never, ever run dry.

Soon our new year will feel quite old. The newness of a fresh start- if rooted only in a calendar change- will grow stale. In contrast the reality of gospel newness stays fresh. It’s new every month, every day, every moment.

May God grant us a Christ centered New Year that keeps discouragement, despair, and defeat at arm’s length from our hearts and minds. May the gospel be that which renews us when the New Year loses its luster. May we experience the newness of God’s mercy every morning of 2016!