What the New Year Means
Many Christians join their neighbors in their communities in celebrating the arrival of a New Year. Yet, "New Year's Day" has never been a Christian holiday. What reasons might Christians have for celebrating a time when the earth begins another trip around the sun? As we listen to God's word answering this question, we are reminded of some of the most profound teachings from God.
Hear the Invitation
Jesus's invitation to discipleship is to let him rule our lives as our Lord and Teacher. He promises that if we do, he will save us. Further, the lessons he teaches, the way he guides us to live in righteousness brings rest to our souls rather than weariness.
Guests of the Bridegroom
Some of the followers of John the Baptist are puzzled that Jesus does not lead his disciples to fast in preparation for the Kingdom of God. Instead, Jesus is feasting with Matthew and other tax collectors and sinners. Jesus explains why he feasts by reminding John's followers that Jesus is the "bridegroom" whose presence means the Kingdom feast is about to begin. For Christians, this means we always have the joy of hope no matter if it is a time of fasting or a time of feasting.
Jesus's resurrection proves the reality of the Christian hope for eternal life beyond death. It also demonstrates the divine power available to help Christians live Jesus' way now. Jesus calls Christians to store up treasures in heaven, because that is where our hearts will be. We also hear him saying that our hearts will have immense resources to serve God faithfully and to love others well. We need to be sure that we are investing out devotion, our time, and our money in that eternal hope.
The Word of Angels
At certain times in the history of God's plan of redemption, God has spoken his promises through the mouths of angels. In Luke's account of Gabriel's message to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, we are reminded that God's promises never fail.