My wish for the new year 2023

STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul Villarete - The Freeman

It comes seven days after Christmas. So close that in our man-made convention, it’s almost a week of holidays especially when people sometimes schedule their leave of absences, especially the forced ones. But the new year also marked the beginning of a new/another year-- again a human convention supposedly marking the earth’s revolution around the sun. But who cares if the earth circled the sun?

Of course, we recognize that mankind needed this convention to mark time, especially in relation to the changes of the season. And since these are caused by the earth’s location and position in relation to the sun, we have distinct spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter seasons each year, in the temperate countries at least. For us in the tropics, this is usually not that distinct, maybe just generalized into dry and rainy seasons.

Man may have need of them, but it was God who ordained them. At the very start of creation God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14). From the very start, God created time to be cyclical to show all of us that we are revolving in a pattern that points to two things --good and bad. The good is God himself and his love for man and desire to have an eternal relationship with him; and the bad is man’s sin dooming us to eternal separation from him, needing a savior, the messiah, for redemption and reconciliation.

God created time to continually remind us of who we are, where we stand before him, and the shortness of life. “Our life is like a flower that grows quickly and then dies away. Our life is like a shadow that is here for a short time and then is gone.” (Job 14:2). The psalmist urged us to ask God, “So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). 365 days to the next new year. For some, each day is an opportunity to receive the gift of salvation freely offered; for others, a continuing opportunity to rejoice and thank God for such a gift.

Think about it. Regardless of where we are and how old we are now, it will just be a number of years, months, and days more that we remain alive. Some will depart sooner than later, and vice-versa. Every day is an opportunity given by God to receive the free gift of eternal life. New Year’s Day reminds us that our days in this life are numbered and limited but each one is a precious opportunity to gain limitless endless time in eternity with God. We celebrate as many New Year’s Days in our lives as our number of birthdays! And every day is as good a day as any to accept God’s offer of salvation.

My continuing prayer for 2023 is for all our readers to receive the gift of salvation that God unselfishly provided for us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

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