There are two times in December that we wait with quiet expectation about the future. Of course, there are the weeks leading up to Christmas, after Thanksgiving, during which time we wait for the celebration of the arrival of the Christ child. And after the arrival of Christmas, we kind of fall into the abyss between that celebration and the arrival of the New Year, the official start on January 1st of 2017.
Most of us dream about resolutions and things that we vow to do differently in the next 12 months. Lose weight, quit smoking, exercise more, work harder and a host of other “promises” usually fall by the wayside by the end of January. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t really trying to do a better job than we did last year.
Some of us use this time to reflect on the past and decide how we will approach things with a fresh chance. Others tend to let the time pass without much fanfare and don’t necessarily think there is anything that needs to be changed. And still others can hardly contain themselves as they contemplate all the possibilities that the new year will bring.
But the truth of the matter is that if you are a believer in Jesus – if you believe that God really sent His Son to earth to be given as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, then you are already on the road to “all things new.” That’s right – if you celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, as opposed to the commercialization of the day, then you are already well on your way.
So as we experience this lull between Christmas and New Year’s Day, our verse for tonight reminds us that, as Christians, we are already entering something “new.” Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
So the good news is that you don’t have to wait for a date on the calendar. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to accept the free gift of salvation and to think about all the ways that we can make the world a better place next year. My prayer is that God will do powerful and mighty things through you this coming year. After all, I have great expectations for each of us. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…