Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Day

Well, 2011 is coming to an end today. We celebrate the flipping over of a calender with anticipation of new and exciting promises to be better, make ourselves better, and the world better.

I find it a strange custom for us to do as Believers in the One True God, Creator of the universe and of time itself. Our systematic counting of time has no real meaning if we forget that He is always faithful and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3: 22-23). It is no accident or gift of time that we wake up in the morning. God's time is always perfect. Remember how He gave us an example by doing Himself of how to treat time in the very beginning before there was no sin? Back when He told us the way to count days? There was no written calender. Let me remind you with His own Word:

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

and later in the law:

 “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of YHWH your God. In it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter; your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your livestock, nor the stranger within your gates; for in six days YHWH made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it” (Ex. 20:8-11).

Now, I know that we are no longer under the curse of the law (read this about the law), but I am talking about keeping time.

 Are we to make promises of being better only when a year has passed? Are we to only recognize YHWH's goodness when we awake tomorrow because we've lived to see "another year?" Or is it that we ought to be grateful because we awoke this morning and all the other mornings before this? He tells us in His Word to be thankful for all things and pray always (1 Thessalonians 5: 17-18), so should we not do this every day? I am struck by the fact that our Lord wants my genuine thanks- my first thing in the morning- haven't opened my eyes yet- morning breath- stumbling down the hall towards the bathroom- praise and prayer. It's not just the anticipation of changing out my old calender with a new one- it's the all the time anticipation that this world is not my home- that He will come back to get me- that I will be able to spend eternity in Glory- and that I will answer face to face for even the foolish words I have spoken while not thinking (Matt. 12:36). Imagine then the idle way I have spent my unredeemed time (Ephesians 5: 16)! Do not wait another moment to live as imitators of God (Eph. 5:1) just because it's not a "new year." We are not promised another day at all (James 4: 13-17)!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.