Numbers 6:27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."
This night, most all the world almost remembers what is really important, which is rather an amazing thing. Almost everyone stops to consider the year that is coming to an end. As they do, they remember the good things and the bad things, which is good. They remember things for which they are thankful, and things they plan never to do again. They remember things that didn’t get done, and make promises as how next year will be different. In many ways they make a good beginning at a new beginning.
Its not hard to repent of things that did you no good. Nor is it difficult to make plans and promises. But neither of these is really what repentance or contrition is all about. Repentance is sorrow because it is wrong - not sorrow because it was unprofitable, or sorrow that you were caught. But there is a deeper problem, and that is – is there repentance, or a new beginning, or a promise kept, or anything good apart from God?
If there is a universal problem it is that we all spend way too much time apart from God. There are plenty of excuses as to why we do this – even if the scriptures say – 6 days shall you labor and do all your work – the scriptures did not mean that it was exclusive, that is that God could not be part of your work day, nor is it saying that God only expects to hear from you on your day off. In the same way, prayer is not just something for morning, evening and mealtime – scriptures command us – Pray without ceasing! Or to put it another way, Never be apart from God.
But how can we do this?
While it is good to make new years resolutions, if they are promises that are soon forgotten, or never really kept – what’s the purpose? How can the new year, be not just new, but blessed – filled with love, hope and joy? Like most things, it begins with God.
If we become a new creation when God puts his name upon us. If we find the power to live a new life in the grace of God. Certainly it would seem wise to put God’s name on the new year.
Not my new year, but God’s new year
Not my new days, but God’s new day
So that the question becomes –
What would you have us do with this new year you have given us?
God is at the center, we surround him, like loving children gathering around their beloved father.
So we begin the new year in the name of God, looking to our heavenly Father, to give us direction, and the grace to do the good that he places before us.