And God said “Let here be light” and there was light.
January 1st 2021! In one sense it is an arbitrary date although through the years one that has taken on particular significance as we say ‘good bye’ to the old year and welcome in the New. I don’t want to go down the somewhat hackneyed line of ‘New Year Resolutions’ for surely if we are Christians we are already resolved to live the coming year to the glory of God with our eyes fixed on Jesus. However if we are honest we find that easier to say than to do especially after a year that has been like no other in the living memories of most, if not all, of us. So particularly as 2021 begins we want to put the old behind us and embrace the new. But what is the ‘new’?
The writer of Ecclesiastes puts it like this in Chapter 1 and verse 9
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.
At first reading that is a pretty dismal start to a new year. We just have 12 months of the same again – not an exact replay of the past for that is past but the expectation that there will be joys and sorrows, successes and failures as before.
So we are faced with the question “how do we live godly lives in such a world?”
On the basis of the verse above there are two key answers.
- We have a God who speaks and we understand that he has spoken through his word recorded for us in the written Scriptures – our Bible. At her Coronation our Queen was presented with a copy of the Bible with these words “We present you with this book, the most valuable thing this word affords. Here is wisdom. This is the Royal Law. These are the lively oracles of God.” Therefore let us be people of the Word.
- God’s first words at creation brought light into being and John writes in his Gospel chapter 1 and verse 5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”
Therefore let us walk in the light as He (God) is in the light
1 John 1.7
With these two truths ringing in our ears we can step into the New Year, with confidence whatever experiences we will face.