I have often wondered what it might be like to take someone from a faraway world and explain to them what happens in our country as a new year dawns. Yes, we put on silly party hats and drink and dance the night away (some do, while some just try to stay awake!) while we watch a large crystal ball drop in New York. We celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of a new one. Many of us will make resolutions to change aspects of our lives or our behavior. There will be much laziness and hangover cures for January 1 as a new year unfolds.
We make a big deal out of this idea of a new year and yet we have the same thing available to us all the time in daily living! Our God loves us and forgives the past. No, wait, better than that. Our God “forgets” the past, but we are the ones who remember. Our past is forgiven and our future secure. God promises to be with us to the end of the age, and so we don’t need to be anxious or worried about the future because God is already there. We are constantly being made new! In 2 Cor. 5:17 the Bible says “If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation; everything old has passed away; everything has become new.”
On January 2nd, today and every day we can thank God for this constant new-ness made available to us because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. How do you know if you are “in Christ?” You need not worry, you are included, your are “in”. We are all “in” because of the overwhelming love and grace of God. There isn’t anything you can do to make God love you anymore nor any less. God is love and you and I are included, and grace abounds!
In the end, love wins! While life may be hard, while the old stuff of our lives may nag and weigh us down, God is love. God still forgives, maybe our only new year’s resolution is to get off our own backs, to stop being so hard on ourselves and bask in the newness of God all the time! Happy New You!
May the renewing love and grace of God fall upon all of our Secretariats and all of us on our 4th day. We pray for Via de Cristo around the world, and in our own local community. May we continue to strengthen one another and share the Lord with others on weekends in 2016,