I like to turn the page, whether it is a page of a book I am reading, a to-do list that I am completing, or a calendar that I am moving to the next day, month or year – I find a lot of satisfaction in turning the page. Turning the page is a first step into the future. It provides us with the opportunity to put the past behind us, while we move into the opportunities and promise of a new day. We will soon be turning the page on 2017 as we welcome 2018. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were frantically preparing for Y2K, and yet we have turned the page eight years since then.
With the advent of a new year, many of us will make new promises and commitments in an effort to turn the page upon the past and to begin the new year with a fresh start. Realistically, many of our new year’s pledges and resolutions will not be fulfilled. We may start strong and consistent, with a new sense of purpose and energy, but as the days and weeks progress most of us will fall back into old patterns and routines. It is difficult for us to break out of the deeply established ruts that we have worn into our daily lives.
However, we do not need to be discouraged by the difficulty of turning the page on our past, because we are given the opportunity to do so daily. In fact, through the abundant pardon (Isaiah 55:7) that we receive through Jesus Christ, we are provided with the opportunity to turn the page on the past daily, hourly and even by the second. We just celebrated the advent of God’s love for all of creation, which was revealed to us in the baby Jesus. The love of God in Jesus provides us all with the opportunity to put our past iniquities in the past, where they belong, so that we might begin anew. Each new day we should be mindful of the fresh start that we are given. It is the opportunity to live our lives in Christ, having received the fullness of Christ through our baptism. Fortunately, this gift of new life is renewable, each and every time that we confess our shortcomings, our disappointments and our sins to God. When we do so, we are pardoned abundantly and invited to turn the page, as God has done for us.
So, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday, for each day and year provide us with the promise of new life. Enjoy yours!