New Year, new hope

02/01/13 | Posted by Ian Black

Today brings us the beginning of the mornings after the night before. In many places the New Year was seen in with fireworks, parties, a toast to friends present and absent. Resolutions may have been set and there is a natural sense of new beginning. My own city didn't organise anything this year because no one was found to sponsor it. This reminded me that in these days of austerity, there is no spare money for parties on the public purse. They need a financial backer and without it the guests may gather, as they did in their hundreds, but there will be nothing on offer for them.

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New Year new beginnings do not drop from the sky.  They come out of wherever we left things the night before.  So if we face hardship, then the New Year will bring the bills and they don’t go away just because the date has changed.  Last year sets the scene for where this year begins.  But it doesn’t mean that nothing can change.  One of the beauties of New Year is that it offers us the prospect of changing the direction and course.  Despite the popularity of fiction which talks of destiny, as if the future is already determined, the New Year is a moment when we become aware that there are decisions we can make that will open and close doors.

If debt is the chief worry, then the New Year asks if there is someone we can go to who can help us get our finances sorted out.  Debt counsellors or advisors can help and prevent rushing to those who offer ready money but will just make the problem worse.

If our life is out of balance, too much time in work and not enough with those closest to us, then what small steps can be made to make time for them?  Short quality time, frequently found, may be all that is required.  Small drops that become a deep well of love on which relationships flourish.

If the gap is time to be still, to praise and be thankful, to connect with that which lies at the root of everything that there is, what people of faith call God, this too is closer than might be thought.  Churches are communities of people similarly struggling and who can provide support in numbers, in fact they are at their best when that is their focus.  We don’t have to be alone in this.

If what we face is our mortality, the starkness of the purpose of life and death, then the change needed may be to see the light in that darkness and through that learn to embrace with hope and praise what is to come.  It is to find a faith that our life comes from God, is held by God and ultimately finds it’s goal in God.

New Year is a time to face the deepest questions of our life and it’s purpose.  It is a time to have a look to see if there are changes that we can make to dump being locked into a false destiny and thereby embrace the freedom of God that embraces life in its fullness.

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Lovely blog post. A bittersweet New Year for me. It’s a great feeling to start a New Year with all of it’s possibilities and opportunities to put things right, but then I think of my Grandma who is 101 years old and now spends most of her extremely weak and sleeping. What must a New Year feel like for her? What must it feel like to enter a year thinking it could very well be your last? I pray that she sees the hope of an everlasting life with Jesus. Happy New Year everyone.

#1. By Eamon Hanka on January 02, 2013

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