Duck! Here Comes Another New Year!
Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, agrees that facing another new year can be intimidating. Events keep popping up to startle and confound us. We seem to be continuously setting new records that we don’t want to experience in these last few years. One could plead, “Please, in 2022, no more record-breaking heat, drought, forest fires, floods, pandemic deaths, and restrictions.”
Many have and continue to predict the future, but Ogden Nash, the poet, wrote: “Duck! Here comes another year.” It seems that each year we face comes with time bombs in them set to explode and keep us scrambling. Yet, these events remind us to stay humble as anything may happen. It requires wisdom to look beyond what is happening to God, who created and sustains us.
Ed says we need to hold our ground when things get worse instead of better. He likes to quote the saying: “Today’s mighty oak is just a nut, which held its ground.” I like the quote of C.S. Lewis for each year, for no matter how bumpy our lives may become, Lewis, reminds us: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Christians are to set their goals and new dreams in their faith in Jesus Christ. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Things keep changing in our lives and the world, and our sense of well-being and security can feel shaky. We know Jesus is changeless and does not change like shifting sand or snow.
God’s people never know where they will go or how their lives will change for what could seem to be, as bad as it can get. In the book of Jeremiah, God’s people sent into exile in Babylon had no sense of well-being or security. They were hopeless and feeling abandoned by God. God told them through Jeremiah: “Build houses and settle down, plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters, increase in number. Seek the peace and prosperity of the city. Pray to the Lord for it. When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29: 4-11)
God was true to his promise, and after seventy years, those wishing to return to Jerusalem were allowed to do so. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In love, God offers us hope and a future every year from its start to its finish. Every year God calls us to, “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Cor. 16:13,14)
Every year, especially in 2022, we focus on claiming God’s love for us in Christ. Jesus loved us and gave himself upon the cross for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Each year, we become imitators of Jesus as those He dearly loves and calls us to live a life of love. (Ephesians 5:1,2) If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)