Every New Year begins with hope and promise, some with resolution and intent, most with a bit of trepidation, and not a few with relief. You tell me how this year begins for you. For me it is another new year -- not a great start of something new but an acknowledgment that one year has passed and another year begins. Perhaps it is the gnawing reality that says Covid is not yet a word from our past. Perhaps it is the fruit of another Christmas celebrated under the cloud of a pandemic. Perhaps it is the mark of the vision of a future that looks very different than the one I was hoping for. In any case, we pin our hopes and dreams not on the change of a day or year but on the Name of the One who owns time (something we do not!).
It is the Name of Jesus that owns the day for us and we own Him by faith. None of us sees the future that would accord with a world of blessing nor do we even see a little improvement in our own thoughts, words, and deeds. But we do see in Jesus a future -- one that we certainly do not deserve but which is ours by gift, blessing, and grace. And that future is not another day or another year but every day lived under and in the Name of Jesus. I do not offer you staid promises or great wishes but I do offer you Jesus -- the Name of promise given to the Child, the circumcision blood shed as first of more to cleanse us from our sins, and Him who owns the day for us and us for His day.
Eternal God, we commit to Your mercy and forgiveness the year now ended and we enter the year to come, counting on Your mercy and love as our anchor and surety. In the new year, abide among us with Your Holy Spirit that we may always trust in the saving name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.